Duck shooting season nears end

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Ducks will be dodging fewer shots in the central South Island as the season for most game bird hunting draws to a close.
‘The reason for nontraditional seasons — outside of the traditional season for paradise shelduck and mallard duck, first Saturday in May to last Sunday in July — is to maximise the opportunities for hunters to harvest healthy populations [of] game birds ‘
The season for mallard, grey and shoveler ducks, pukeko and swans has already ended in the Central South Island Fish & Game (CSIFG) region, which stretches from the Rakaia River in the north to the Lindis Pass in the south.
Open season options still available to hunters included the paradise shelduck, which could be hunted until September 25 in the CSI region west of State Highway 1, CSIFG council officer Rhys Adams said.
‘‘The reason for nontraditional seasons — outside of the traditional season for paradise shelduck and mallard duck, first Saturday in May to last Sunday in July — is to maximise the opportunities for hunters to harvest healthy populations [of] game birds . . .’’
It also aimed to alleviate issues that arise when large congregations of birds cause significant damage to crops and pasture, he said.
For upland game species, including quail, chukar and pheasant, the season would continue until August 28.
‘‘We also have a summer season for mallard and paradise shelduck in February 2017, which is covered under the current game bird licence. This occurs on two successive weekends only — 4-5 and 11-12 of February 2017. The areas which these seasons apply is restricted to ‘Area C’ for mallard and ‘Area B’ for paradise shelduck,’’ Mr Adams said. Those areas were within the CSIFG region.’’
Overall, this year’s season had been good and, in general, hunters were happy, Mr Adams said.
However, not all hunters came away from the season unscathed. One hunter was shot in the wrist near Ashburton on opening weekend in the CSI region.