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Duck shooting starts with warning

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 5/05/2017

Whio (Blue Duck, Hymenolaimus malacorhynchos) at Staglands in Akatarawa, New Zealand © By Karora - Own work, Public Domain Whio (Blue Duck, Hymenolaimus malacorhynchos) at Staglands in Akatarawa, New Zealand Duck shooting season is starting and farmers are taking the opportunity to make a political statement.

The season starts on Saturday, and Fish and Game usually sells about 38,000 game bird hunting licences.

Hunters are hopeful it will be a bumper season because the poor weather last summer provided good breeding conditions for ducks.

Federated Farmers has released an open letter as the season starts, making the point that farmers are very accommodating to hunters and are annoyed licence revenue is being used to fund actions against the interests of farmers.

"Some Fish and Game licence holders may not face the same friendly welcome by their farmer friends this year," the letter says.

It says Wellington Fish and Game achieved dubious benefits from taking the regional council to court on a water quality issue when improvements had been achieved.

In Hawke's Bay Fish and Game Council is seeking a broad definition for a wetland that will severely restrict farmers' ability to farm wet paddocks.

"We urge all Fish and Game licence holders to support the men and women who support you in providing access to great fishing and hunting experiences and encourage their organisation to work with, not against, the farming community," the letter says.

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