Taranaki Fish & Game NZ is cautioning hunters against jumping the gun on shooting Canada geese.
Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson recently announced that Canada geese are to be moved from Schedule 1 to Schedule 5 of the Wildlife Act, which will take away the protection status of the birds.
This announcement has unfortunately left many regional hunters and landowners confused about the current status of Canada geese and has led some to believe that they can hunt the birds now, outside the game bird season.
“This is not the case and both hunters and farmers alike need to be aware that Canada geese still have status as a ‘game bird’, which means they are still protected and can’t be hunted until the opening of the game bird season on May 7,” says Taranaki Fish & Game manager Daren Smith.
“Canada geese will remain subject to the rules and regulations of game bird hunting throughout the season and beyond, until the law has been changed.”
Mr Smith points out that Fish & Game NZ has not yet been notified when the law will change, however the Department of Conservation states: “… the change in status is expected to occur in two to three months time.”
This means that the 2011 game bird regulations for hunting Canada geese still apply and landowners and hunters need to be clear that, until the law is changed, shooting Canada geese out of season or with unspecified shot or firearms is illegal.
For more information visit the Department of Conservation website: http://www.doc.govt.nz/about-doc/role/legislation/wildlife-act/change-to-protection-status-of-canada-geese/