Duck shooting excellent in parts
The shooting season opened patchily, generally good for ducks in the Far North but difficult on the “mainland,” and with pheasants almost a total loss in most parts.
The Far North correspondent of the Northland Age must have had a good weekend for he headed his report “Shooting season 1969 in the Far North goes with a bang.”
“With weather like an Indian Summer, good bags seemed to be the order of the day, though reports from Parengarenga Harbour and the lakes were very mixed.
“Some shooters enjoyed their limit bags there, while others were not so fortunate, getting only six or seven on the first two days.
“Shooters in the Ngataki and Houhora areas reported limit bags, as lack of rain made harbour and permanent lake shooting good.
“Reports from pheasant shooters were not so satisfactory, and most found that the conditions were too dry.
“A good rain is needed to bring the birds out of cover, especially on the sandy country,” writes the correspondent.
Many duck shooters saw plenty of birds but they were hundreds of feet up in the clear skies.
Men at the mouth of the Awanui Harbour had little success, but those in the mangroves shot their limits quickly.
There was a bit of a jobble on the sea on Saturday, and so the frightened birds could not take refuge there.
On Sunday it was smoother. and the rafts of birds sat offshore in places until dark.
Pheasant shooting was also hard on the hill country, so far as we know. One man who concentrates on pheasants and usually gets limits only had four.
There were a few swans shot, but unless a drive is organised no-one expects to get many of these wily birds except by sheer luck.
Only one bag of game went away from Kaitaia by air — a contrast to the old days when the Thompson Brothers used to handle up to 70 bags of birds on Monday morning. Perhaps there are not so many birds about, but perhaps the ubiquitous deep freeze makes generosity less necessary.
— May 6, 1969