The Timaru Herald
Hunters kill hundreds of pests on annual weekend shoot
Hunters killed hundreds of pests over the weekend during the Waimate Shooters Club Annual Pest Quest.
Entries were up on previous years with 70 juniors and 130 adults hunting around South Canterbury, club president Nick Henderson said.
‘‘There are oodles of hunters out there regardless of the competition. The pests are mostly introduced species.
‘‘It is important to reduce numbers as they have a negative impact on the environment, bush and forest,’’ Henderson said. The quest was cancelled last year due to Covid. In 2019, more than 2000 pests were eradicated.
Henderson said he expected the final
tally for 2021 to exceed that of 2019.
The quest was cancelled last year due to Covid. In 2019, more than 2000 pests were eradicated.
Henderson said he expected the final tally for 2021 to exceed that of 2019.
Hunting for the contest started on Friday morning, with competitors allowed to hunt on private and public land. The weigh-in was yesterday at the Waimate Rugby clubrooms.
About 30 minutes before the end of weigh-in, the highest number of kills recorded for an individual were recorded by three competitors – one bagged for different individuals was 80 rabbits, another 80 possums, and the third got 130 wallabies.
‘‘Wallabies have been the most popular this year,’’ Henderson said.
Henderson said by mid-afternoon yesterday the heaviest gutted wallaby in the adult category weighed 21 kilograms and for the juniors the heaviest was 19kgs.
‘‘Any dead pest is a good pest,’’ he said. As well as prizes for the heaviest wallabies, there were prizes given to those with the heaviest possum, buck and doe, ugliest red stag, ugliest fallow buck, highest tally rabbits and hares plus other categories.
Henderson was surprised he had seen no ferrets or stoats caught.
Wallaby numbers have increased, particularly in the Mackenzie, so cyanide poison would be used on the Gammack Range to control them, over the next few weeks, Environment Canterbury told Stuff last week.
ECan wallaby programme leader Brent Glentworth said poison control had been completed during the winters of 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2019, resulting in 88 adult wallaby kills, with 52 in-pouch joeys. He said they were being seen again, and they wanted to stop them spreading towards the Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park boundary.
‘‘It is important to reduce numbers as they have a negative impact on the environment, bush and forest.’’ Nick Henderson
Waimate Shooters club president