Ducks all in a row

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Ducks are all in a row for hunters this year as the season begins on May 4.

Fish & Game New Zealand officer Cliff Halford said recent counts revealed a healthy population in the Otago Region.

Favourable breeding conditions in the spring and frequent rain events had ensured there was plenty of food and habitat available.

While Central Otago experienced its usual dry period over the summer, autumn had developed nicely, and ducks had returned to the Ida and Manuherikia Valleys to nestle in for the winter, Mr Halford said.

“There is a good scattering of ducks across the Central area, with a decent population in the Maniototo.”

Hunters needed to abide by the regulations and hunt responsibly, he said.

“Rangers will be in the field over the opening weekend to check on compliance with the regulations and to liaise with hunters over their success and satisfaction.”

Safety was crucial over this period.

“It is a very special occasion and the priority is for hunters, their immediate family, and friends to return home safely.”