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Game on: date confirmed for 2020 duck hunting season

2 min read
Game bird season 2020

Photo: Eastern Fish & Game

After a cancelled roar and delayed game bird hunting season, patient hunters can look forward to 23 May, which will officially mark the start of the 2020 game bird season.

In consultation with Fish & Game New Zealand and the government, the season start date was selected so that hunters had time to equip themselves, prepare their maimais, and travel to their hunting grounds.

The Alert Level 2 conditions for game bird hunting are more practical for the hunters and has proven the benefits of waiting versus opting for the restrictions of Alert Level 3, Fish & Game said.

“The good news is hunters can travel inter-regionally and will be able stay overnight at their hunting spots with friends and family under Level 2. While this offers the freedom duck hunters had hoped for, there are still considerations that need to be adhered to as outlined in the government’s Level 2 guidelines for the safety of all involved,” Fish & Game said in a press release.

Hunters can now travel, use their boats, and access public land under Alert Level 2 and this will mean communities that have relied on the game bird season for income and food supply will still have a season.

Hunters can also now buy instore from outdoor retailers.

Fish & Game says its staff has used the lockdown period to have all the necessary regulation changes made for the new season start date.

“The changes to the Game Notice will enable those hunters in regions with very short seasons extended hunting opportunities. We thank the Minister of Conservation and her staff for their support and help in getting the Game Notice amended,” Fish & Game said.

Regional Fish & Game representatives joined in saying the extended game bird season is “a bonus for patient hunters.”

“Game bird hunters throughout the region have been patiently waiting for this announcement, and they’ll be very happy that the wait is over,” Fish & Game Wellington manager Phil Teal said.

“Wellington Fish & Game region hunters will get a near-normal length season. They can hunt all the way through to 12 July. ”

In the Auckland/Waikato region, which has the highest number of Game Bird licence sales in the country, the season has been extended to end on 28 June 2020.

For Hawke’s Bay hunters, the season will run through to 21 June 2020.

Easter Fish & Game said the season for mallards now ends on 21 June.

Before you head out, check out the regional season dates and bag limits can here.

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