Eastern Region Fish & Game staff are reminding hunters of a special game bird season for black swan and pukeko in Management Area A1 in the region this weekend.

Management area A1 includes the Rotorua Lakes, coastal estuaries in the Bay of Plenty, and the part of the Waikato River just above Rawhiti Lagoon downstream to Lake Atiamuri.

Hunters should check their Game Bird Hunting Guide booklet if they are unsure of the A1 boundaries.

The special season is for Saturday and Sunday, February 29 to March 1 only, and available for hunters who hold a 2019 licence.


There is no limit on the number of black swan which can harvested, but a daily limit of 10 birds applies to pukeko.

Senior Fish & Game Officer Matt McDougall said members of the public shouldn't be alarmed if they hear shots fired during the weekend, starting from around 6.30am on Saturday.

"Both species are abundant in this region, and in some areas are a nuisance to the horticultural and agricultural sector."

McDougall said Fish & Game officers would be out ranging and bag limits and other regulations strictly enforced.

He said hunters were reminded that the rules which apply in the main game bird hunting season which ended some time ago, apply equally to the special season.

The regulations state that non-toxic shot (not lead shot) is strictly required around waterways, and shotgun magazines must be restricted to three shots in total with no exceptions.

Hunting from boats under power will not be tolerated either.

Land occupiers, (which means the occupier, their spouse and one son or daughter only – a maximum of three people) do not need a game bird hunting licence if they are only hunting on their own land.