Time to bag duck shooting spot

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The past nine months have been busy for the Waitaki District Youth Council.
The youth council is structured in a similar way to the Waitaki District Council; it meets each month and has several sub-committees, while it also compiles monthly reports to be presented to the full council.
Youth council chairman Matthew Cullimore, in a report to the council, said the youth council had a strong finish to 2015 and had started 2016 in much the same way.
Matthew, a St Kevin’s College pupil, is in his first term as youth council chairman, replacing Jessie Waite, who was chairwoman for three years.
It has a new deputy chairman in Joseph Walshe, while Amy Hunter is the youth council’s new treasurer and secretary.
Since May, the council has helped organise a youth survey with the Waitaki Safer Community Trust and the It’s Not OK family violence campaign, has worked with other organisations to organise a youth forum, and has held a leadership development session at Camp Iona.
It has raised and donated funds to groups and individuals, and provided volunteers for events.
Oamaru ward councillor Melanie Tavendale, who works closely with the youth council, said the 2016 council had some fine young men and women on board.
“I think we’ve got a great group of young people this year that are really enthusiastic. We are trying to find as many activities for them as we can to be involved in.”While she said there was “room for improvement” at the youth council, Cr Tavendale said it had an important role to play in the district.
“They are increasingly working to become part of the community and a stronger youth voice, and I think a stronger link with the full council is helping achieve that. It’s a good opportunity for them to see a proper meeting structure and be involved in decision-making, really.”The youth council had identified several future projects, including throwing its support behind making the Victorian Precinct smokefree, working with council road safety co-ordinator Elton Crane on road safety advertisements, and increasing the community work carried out by youth council members, including rest-home visits.
Matthew said he looked forward to building on the work the youth council had done in recent months.
“The Waitaki District Youth Council has been going from strength to strength. Our members have been engaged and are driving some fantastic youth-related initiatives in the district. We want to build on this momentum and to continue to engage local youth in local body decision-making.”Duck shooters, it’s time to stake out your territory.
Thousands of keen duck shooters will descend on various waterways around the Waitaki and Waimate districts this weekend to sort out their spots for the start of the new season.
Pegging/tagging day, when shooters claim a maimai or stand for the season, is on Sunday.
Shooters who claimed a stand last season had until 10am on Sunday to “re-tag” it, Central South Island Fish & Game Council officer Rhys Adams said.
An unclaimed stand could be claimed by any licenceholder by tagging it after 10am.
Opening weekend _ the first weekend in May _ was arguably more about the social aspect of game bird hunting than the successful harvesting of the birds, Mr Adams said.
He suggested shooters might want to start catching up with mates to organise the opening weekend, while bird hunting and retrieving dogs, like labradors and spaniels, could do with a spot of pre-season fitness, bird retrieval and command training to ensure they were ready for opening morning.
Dabbling ducks _ mainly mallard and paradise shelduck _ were counted annually in the region from the air in February and March, Mr Adams said.
Counts for mallard ducks were similar to last year and on par with the long-term average, which went back to 2007, but paradise shelduck numbers had increased from last year.
Lake Wainono, near Waimate, held the largest population of paradise shelduck in the region in March when the birds were replacing feathers, and numbers were up from 4800 to 5500. By now, the birds would have dispersed throughout the surrounding Waimate, Oamaru and Waitaki areas, Mr Adams said.
Game bird season licences are available at outdoors shops. A temporary tag will be printed out with the licence receipt. Place this in a sealable plastic bag and use it until the durable plastic tag turns up in the mail.
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