Duck shooting season closes in

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Duck shooters’ favourite time of the year is fast approaching, with the opening of the season set to kick off this Saturday.

The start of the duck shooting season falls on the first weekend in May every year and is a chance for duck hunters to go out and see how well they can shoot.

“The day is coming upon us quickly, and there are many keen duck enthusiasts ready to get shooting,” Southern Fish and Game area officer Graeme Hughes said.

The recent weather has not been too much a threat for the duck shooting community, with Mr Hughes highlighting it as a good thing.

“For us duck shooters, the rain which has been falling is actually a good thing, as with more water around, the ducks move a little bit more and it means with seas being rough, they are more likely to come inland.”

The wet weather keeps the ducks moving around and off the sea.

The Central South Island region is the place to be for duck hunters, with the limit of 50 birds per type, the highest in the country.

Mr Hughes said this year, bird numbers were consistent with previous years.

“Numbers are pretty similar. We have more swans but they’re not everybody’s favourite. Mallards are slightly higher than last year, but shell ducks are a bit lower due to less in the area when we counted.”

People from around the region have been telling Mr Hughes that they have seen plenty of birds flying around.

“The wet weather has actually brought a lot of feed into the area, so birds have been hanging around.”

Looking ahead to the opening weekend, Mr Hughes said it would be ideal if there was a bit of rain in the air for shooters.

“We would love some rain, as this keeps the ducks moving and in the air, which is what we require. If it’s sunny then they just hang out at sea if it’s calm and then numbers are lower.”

BY BRAYDEN LINDSAY