Fish & Game – Related Articles

Duck dumping on beach disgusts Timaru woman…

Some of the 50 dead ducks walker Alana Yerbury found near Jack’s Point on Wednesday.

A Timaru woman was disgusted to find dozens of dumped duck carcasses near Jack’s Point on Wednesday morning.

Alana Yerbury said her dog Brudal found about 50 ducks, including “wee babies”, at the eastern end of Ellis Rd about 11.15am while walking a coastal track. The ducks were almost all paradise ducks, and Yerbury believed they had been shot. She suspected someone had dumped them at the beach expecting the tide to wash them away. Because the ducks were above the high tide mark, they were still on the beach when she passed by more than an hour later.

Central South Island Fish & Game chief officer Mark Webb said hunters who knew anything about the dumping owed it to themselves to pass on information about the “ignorant pigs” who dumped the ducks. He intended to dispatch a fish and game officer to pick up the dumped birds and look for clues.

Webb said he had not heard of such a case in South Canterbury in at least five years. He feared the dumping would “reflect poorly” on the region’s “respectful, law-abiding hunters”. Yerbury had also complained to the Timaru District Council, which told her the duck dumpers might have broken dumping bylaws, she said. She had advice for whoever dumped them: “Eat what you shoot.”

Duck shooting season opens with gunshot wounds…

Duck shooting season got off to a bad start this year.

Poor behavior from some southern duck shooters has overshadowed a good opening weekend, with firearms seized and two men injured.
Acting Senior Sergeant Ian Temple, of the Southern District Command Centre, said a person was taken to Dunedin Hospital with serious arm injuries after a shotgun went off accidentally about 4pm Saturday. A party of duck shooters was travelling in a multi-wheeled all-terrain-vehicle near Paerau, in Otago, when the vehicle went over a bumpy part of terrain. A person and two shotguns fell out, and one of the shotguns went off, he said. A St John Ambulance spokeswoman confirmed a 24-year-old man was flown by rescue helicopter to Dunedin Hospital with serious arm injuries. “He had a large exit wound to his arm, which was pulseless,” she said.

South Island duck-shooting season marred by ‘ignorant pigs’

MYLES HUME  May 28 2015

A “localised Wild West” in Ashburton and “ignorant pigs” who dumped 50 birds in a Timaru car park have marred the South Island duck-shooting season, authorities say. The southern shooting season got off to a worrying start on May 2 when two hunters were accidentally shot and several firearms were seized. A month into the season, at least 23 hunters have been found unlicensed and in possession of lead shot, offences that can result in criminal prosecution.

Southland Fish and Game operations manager Zane Moss said it was disappointing 12 people were discovered breaching rules in the region, considering the “significant sentences” handed down by the courts in recent years. “They [fines] average around $700, you lose your shotgun and get a criminal conviction – there are pretty significant implications. Those guys probably don’t appreciate the risk when they are hunting outside the law,” he said. No-one had been caught since opening weekend, Moss said.

Central South Island officer Mark Webb, who oversees land from Rakaia to Oamaru, said despite a 95 per cent compliance rate across the region he was disappointed with constant breaches by hunters in the Ashburton area. The “localised Wild West” area had been subject to intense monitoring during the past four years but hunters did not seem to be getting the message after four people were found in breach of duck-shooting rules.  Webb was also disappointed with 50 birds dumped in a car park at Jack’s Point, near Timaru. “They are just ignorant pigs as far as Fish and Game are concerned. That’s what the public see in the paper and that’s the perception the public will have of duck shooters and that’s despite all the good work duck shooters and Fish and Game do . . . it only takes one or two of these incidents and all that good work is wiped away.”

The Nelson-Marlborough region recorded three breaches, while the Otago area registered compliance rate higher than 95 per cent with four breaches. The West Coast and North Canterbury region’s have been the best behaved, with no hunters found breaking the rules
North Canterbury Fish and Game officer Dirk Barr said after inspecting 170 hunters he could not recall such a successful season in nearly 10 years.  “We put it down to a constructive effort over the last few years to be out in the field and make our presence known and it seems to be working,” he said. Fish and Game communications manager Don Rood said he was “heartened” to find some areas that had not inspected for years were visited this year and hunters were compliant.  “Most people follow the rules, it’s just the odd person or just a few, like anything, that ruin it for the rest,” he said. – Stuff

Tributes for 15-year-old killed in duck shooting tragedy

The loss of a 15-year-old schoolboy fatally shot while out duck hunting in the eastern Bay of Plenty has left family devastated and a small rural community in shock.

James Ross Bucko Johnston died after his firearm discharged while he was out duck hunting in the rural farmland area of Thornton, about 8am Sunday. His father Colin Johnston said his son’s death was accidental and no one else was responsible.   “It was an accident.”

“James is a regular [hunter] he has been out hunting with me ever since he could walk, he regularly went in that area.” The youngest of three boys, the 15-year-old was a keen sportsman, who this year made his debut playing in the 1st XV rugby team for Trident High School. “He loved life, he loved duck shooting and had lots of friends,” said his father.

James had grown up in the eastern Bay of Plenty and lived on the outskirts of Te Teko with his father and mother Ginny Bellamy.

A family friend described the teen as a “loving, wonderful, beautiful young man who would be sorely missed”.  Emergency services were called to the rural farmland area near the intersection of Greig Rd and Thornton Rd near the Tarawera River inlet but the Trident High School student died at the scene.

Whakatane CIB Detective Senior Sergeant Greg Standen said police had completed initial investigations on behalf of the Coroner and a post-mortem was expected to be completed on Monday. “This was a tragic incident and we urge all firearms users to please take extra care, as we don’t want to see any more tragedies this season.”

“The Coroner is now involved and police will not be seeking any other witnesses in this case,” he said.

Tributes flowed on social media for the Whakatane teen. “RIP Jamie. You have left behind some good friends who will miss and cherish the times they have spent with you. Without knowing you have taught them some very hard life lessons. Sending lots of aroha and condolences to your whanau….Fly high Jamie Johnston,” said one post.

“So sad for these guys, my heart goes out to his team-mates and classmates too.”
Trident High School principal Philip Gurney confirmed the teen was a student at the Whakatane School.  “Trident High School staff and students are mourning the loss of one of our students who was involved in a tragic hunting accident over the weekend,” he said in a statement.

“The school has been supported by the Ministry of Education trauma team and supports are in place for both students and staff. At this time we would like to respect the family’s privacy and make no further comment.” Eastern Fish and Game manager Andy Garrick said news of the death was heartbreaking.  “In any loss of life in circumstances this tragic, our hearts go out to the family concerned.” He said Fish and Game had not been contacted by police about the incident, which occurred the second week into this year’s duck shooting season.