Check with the local DOC office to see if small game hunting opportunities are available – not all regions have suitable areas.
Permits are issued by the local DOC office. You need your own permit, whether you are by yourself or part of a hunting party. Hunting without a permit is a breach of the Wild Animal Control, Wildlife and Conservation Acts.
When getting your permit, you'll also be given information about safety considerations, access issues, etc. for a particular area.
What is covered by a small game permit
The small game hunting permit covers:
- hares, and
- Canada geese
Fees – usually free
Small game hunting permits are usually issued free of charge.
When applying for a permit, discuss what special conditions can be added for firearm calibre, ammunition type, dogs and anything else relevant to hunting particular species, at a specific time and place, for example:
- use only a .22 rim-fire rifle, .22 hornet or shotgun (these weapons are not normally permitted for other types of hunting)
- hunt within restricted hours (where hunting may impact other activities or public use, restricted times may allow hunting to be conducted)
- not hunt within 300 metres of neighbouring properties
- using dogs
Special conditions are likely to reflect the level of public use at a site, its conservation values, management activities, terrain, boundaries, time of year and the interests of neighbouring landowners.
Auckland and Whangārei regions
- Small game hunting permits are not available.
- From Mercer to Te Awamutu and west of Waihou river, there are no small game hunting permits being issued.
- A permit for the hunting of Canada geese is issued in conjunction with the game bird hunting permit during game bird season only.
- Small game hunting permits will only be issued for the hunting of Canada geese at Lake Wairarapa, using only 10, 12 or 20 gauge shotguns.
Ōtautahi/Christchurch Visitor Centre:
- issues gamebird, Canada goose and feral goose permits for hunting in Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere
- does not issue small game hunting permits for Mahaanui District/Christchurch area.
Te Manahuna/Twizel Office:
- only issues small game permits for rabbits in the Two Thumb Range hunting block.
- Know that hunting during the hours of darkness (30 minutes after sunset to 30 minutes before sunrise) is strictly prohibited on public conservation land – it is illegal and endangers others.
- Be aware of the potential for bullets to ricochet and endanger others – rabbits and hares are often hunted on river beds or rocky areas.