Mastering Duck Shooting Season: Expert Tips with Richard Cosgrove
Rural News
Rural News

Mastering Duck Shooting Season: Expert Tips with Richard Cosgrove

Richard Cosgrove, a seasoned North Canterbury Fishing Game Officer, provides a wealth of knowledge just in time for the opening weekend of the duck hunting season. He provides insights for hunters seeking to enhance their success amidst challenging conditions such as clear skies, which typically make hunting more difficult.

Richard explains, "We had a really good breeding season last year... So the secret we've been telling people is find the water, find the birds."

Cosgrove touches on the variation in bag limits for different regions, explaining, "In North Canterbury we have 25-odd birds... but some of our regions in the north where there's lower populations, they might only be 8 to 12 sort of birds." This illustrates the need for hunters to be well-versed in the regulations specific to their hunting area.

An interesting trend highlighted by Cosgrove is the rise in game bird licence purchases over the past three decades, suggesting a growing interest in the sport. "The numbers certainly over the last 30 years have increased," he observes, indicating a 20-25% uptick in certain regions.

Delving into the regulatory aspect, Cosgrove clarifies common misconceptions and lesser-known rules, such as landowner privileges which allow them, their spouse, and a nominated child to hunt on their property without a licence. Additionally, he confirms that it is illegal to shoot birds on the water; they must be in flight. He also addresses a non-hunter's query about pukeko hunting, confirming it's allowed in certain regions with varying seasons and emphasises their palatable taste.

Richard also touches on the cost and purpose of the hunting licence, "It's $113 for a season and $5 of that goes specifically to the Game Bird Habitat Trust," supporting conservation efforts. He highlights the recent changes to firearms transport regulations and emphasises the importance of safety, advising hunters to "always follow your seven basic rules of firearm safety."

To wrap up the conversation Cosgrove speaks about the culture of hunting, noting a shift in attitudes towards alcohol, with younger hunters taking a more professional and safety-conscious approach.

He reflects, "The young guys are really good... alcohols for the pub, huntings for the maimai and the two don't mix."

Overall, Richard Cosgrove provides a comprehensive guide to navigating the duck shooting season both legally and successfully.

Listen to the full chat between Richard Cosgrove and Dominic George above.

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