Good open­ing ex­pected

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE -

Prospects are look­ing pos­i­tive for duck hunters head­ing to cen­tral and lakes ar­eas for the open­ing of the duck hunt­ing sea­son on May 5. Ponds and wet­lands through­out the Ma­ni­a­toto and Ida Burn Val­leys have had reg­u­lar top ups with the sur­round­ing farm­land re­main­ing lush pro­vid­ing abun­dant food re­sources for ducks.

Ex­pe­ri­enced hunter and Fish and Game Ranger, Trevor Beck re­ports it was a "great breed­ing sea­son - I have seen as many ducks as I can re­mem­ber for a long time". Good num­bers of mal­lards have also been re­ported through­out the Up­per Taieri. Par­adise Duck moult counts were sim­i­lar to last sea­son with some large con­cen­tra­tions present on the big ir­ri­ga­tion dams, 2000 birds were counted on one dam in the Ida Val­ley alone.

The head of Lake Dun­stan’s Clutha Arm is lively with wa­ter­fowl and the val­leys and river sys­tems ad­join­ing Lakes Hawea, Wanaka and Wakatipu are hold­ing healthy num­bers of mal­lards and parry’s. Fish and Game Of­fi­cer Cliff Hal­ford said hunters should do well in these ar­eas if they plan well, put the ef­fort in and do the ba­sics right.

Fish and Game sur­veys iden­ti­fied that 95% of Otago hunters were ac­tive over the last open­ing week­end - but dur­ing one fort­night pe­riod later only 3% of hunters had both­ered to get out for a duck! So just re­mem­ber if open­ing day is fine and calm with ducks fly­ing high - you still have an­other 3 months of hunt­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties in your li­cence.

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