The game bird hunting season is off to a solid start today, with thousands of people out looking to get some juicy dinner on the table tonight.

Fish & Game New Zealand says it is starting to get reports from hunters all around the country of good weather conditions and big successes.

"The best hunting reported so far has been from the Ida Valley near Alexandra, in central Otago, where hunters had achieved very good success,'' a statement said.

One group harvested up to 40 Mallard ducks in fine, calm conditions.


Fish & Game NZ officers reported seeing lots of ducks and big flocks of Canada geese.

They were said to have been "fat and healthy''.

Fish & Game officer Rhys Adams had spoken to four groups hunting in the central South Island, near Oamaru, early this morning.

Some among the group had bagged three or four birds each by 9am, he said.

On the West Coast, cloudy conditions this morning had meant mixed results for hunters.

One offence notice was issued in the area to a hunter who did not have a game bird licence.

There have been no reports of any major firearm incidents or accidents.

Fish & Game spokesman Don Rood said: "It's very pleasing and we are very hopeful of an incident-free weekend, especially after a concerted safety push by not only Fish & Game, but the Mountain Safety Council.''