It was good news for the ducks and relatively slim pickings for hunters at the opening of the duck hunting season in the Rotorua region.
Hunters on Lakes Rotoma and Rotoehu reported reasonably lean bags as clear, still weather conditions on Saturday conspired to make hunting difficult, said Eastern Fish and Game officer Mark Sherburn.
"The conditions were not favourable around the Rotorua lakes area."
Mr Sherburn was among a number of Fish and Game officers out and about checking compliance in the wider region, which included Bay of Plenty, Taupo, East Coast, Rotorua and Rangitaiki Plains.
"Everyone I talked with were all enjoying their day out but many had not achieved the limit six mallard ducks," he said.
"It was good to see many were also complying with the rules - having licences and not using lead shot."
Mr Sherburn said hunters appeared to have better results on the coastal areas.
"It was fairly tough going initially on the small ponds near the coast but it picked up later in the afternoon."
The coastal areas saw a lot of birds in the air which indicated a lot of hunters out for the start of the season, he said.
"Hunters on the coast were having a real crack and getting their limits. "Opening day is special and unique among hunters and there were a number of family groups of several generations having the day out."
Hunter numbers would normally taper off after the first week as many go back to work and those that were left would watch the key weather patterns, he said.
Favourable conditions including strong easterly winds on the coast would be beneficial in putting the ducks up in the air, he said.
Three hunters in the Eastern Bay of Plenty may face prosecution after allegedly shooting grey teal - a protected species, said Eastern Fish and Game officer Anthony van Dorp.
The trio were also apprehended for using lead shot and had their guns seized, he said.
Overall, many hunters were complying, he said.
"It's disappointing there are a few still breaking the rules.
"Hunters need to be familiar with the rules before they go out."
The Eastern Fish and Game hunting season for mallards will end on June 2.