If you are hunting game birds or small game (Canada and feral geese) make sure you know what not to hunt - most native species are protected under the Wildlife Act (1953).

New Zealand pigeon/kereru. Photo: Andrew Walmsley.
New Zealand pigeon/kereru

The Wildlife Act (1953) protects most native species from hunting. The maximum penalty for killing protected wildlife is a $100,000 fine and up to a year in jail.

Make sure you are aware of what species you can hunt and can recognise them, to avoid mistakenly hunting protected species.

Small game hunting

The only birds covered by a small game bird hunting permit are Canada geese and feral geese. Both of these are easily recognised.

Game bird hunting

Upland hunting: pheasants, partridges and quail can be hunted and should all be easily recognised. Weka are native birds - be careful where these are present.

Wetland hunting: several protected species are vulnerable to accidental/careless shooting. Be familar with native wetland birds. Be careful not to shoot brown teal, grey teal and scaup - these are native birds and superficially resemble other duck species able to be shot.

During the game bird hunting season pukeko and some duck species can be hunted on public conservation land, subject to the conditions of the Fish & Game New Zealand licence and the DOC game bird hunting permit. Note, not all regions have opportunities available for game bird hunting on public conservation land - contact the local DOC office.

Related link

Wildlife Act 1953

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