Hunters caught breaking gun rules

By Jack Barlow of the Wairarapa Times-Age -
The duck shooting season has gotten off to a rocky start. Photo / Thinkstock
The duck shooting season has gotten off to a rocky start. Photo / Thinkstock

The duck shooting season has gotten off to a rocky start, with a higher than usual number of hunters caught breaking the rules.

Around 12 people have been issued with 'non-compliance' notices by Fish and Game, for offences such as using lead shot, and hunting without a firearms licence.

Fish and Game Wellington Regional Manager Phil Teal said the amount of notices issued was "a few more than normal".

"We've had our compliance officers out and we've had a few non-compliance issues," he said.

"There's close to a dozen alleged offences we're following up."

However, he said that on the whole, hunters had been pretty well behaved.

"Most hunters have been pretty happy, in general they've bagged a few birds," he said.

The duck shooting season, which began last Saturday, sees hunters throughout the country take to the wild to try and catch a few wild birds.

It lasts for about two months, although the opening weekend is the busiest part of the season.

Avid duck hunter Tim Allen said the news that a higher number of people had been caught breaking the rules was "disappointing", noting that, while the cost of a gun is often over $1000, the cost of a license is under $100.

However, he added, most people tended to obey the rules.

He said hunting had so far been "a little bit quiet", although he had caught some birds.

"I've had a reasonable time and bagged a few birds, although I do put quite a lot of time and effort into it," he said.

"There was reasonable weather throughout the week, although the weekend was a little quiet."

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