Hunters visiting the DOC website will notice a change to the online hunting permit page for the Central North Island.
The Whanganui Forest Hunting Area, Matemateaonga-Mangapurua Tracks and Whanganui River Trench have been replaced by five new blocks:
- Whanganui Forests
- Whanganui Reserves
- Taumarunui Reserves
Hunters are required to get a permit for each area they wish to hunt in. Changes also include restrictions on where to hunt, and have clarified hunting periods in some areas.
All dogs within these areas now required to be avian avoidance certified. "Certification for dogs is free and can be arranged through the Whanganui DOC office. The next avian avoidance training is scheduled for later this month" said partnerships ranger Peter Lock.
Some small hunting blocks have been closed due to their size and access across private land in consultation with adjoining land owners. However several areas previously closed have had hunting access reinstated. New and improved maps of individual hunting blocks are available on the DOC website or from the DOC office.
"Hunting permits are still free, valid for four months, and hunters apply for them online" said Mr Lock. "All current permits remain legal; hunters will switch over to the new hunting blocks as they renew permits over the coming months".
Hunting information across the country has been reviewed and updated on the DOC website. It is hoped this will make it easier for hunters to find information and maps for areas they want to hunt in.
It is illegal to hunt on public conservation land without a permit, and to hunt on private land without permission from the land owner. The penalty for illegal hunting has recently been increased to up to a $100,000 fine and up to two years imprisonment.