Hunters gearing up for opening weekend

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There should be enough ducks to keep hunters happy on the opening weekend of the duck-shooting season.

The season begins this Saturday.

Fish and Game officer Matthew McDougall is urging hunters to be careful.

He says while numbers are down slightly, there should be enough birds to go around.

"We've just finished the aerial transit count in the Bay of Plenty and the duck numbers look like the might be a little bit down on last year --but not too bad.

"Paradise and shovel ducks are more or less the same numbers as last year, and black swan numbers are still good despite many being shot during the special season we opened in February."

He says upland game bird and goose populations are also good.

The forecast for both days is for fine, with some cloudy conditions which should suit hunters.

Matt says it's also been dry in the Waikato in recent weeks, which is likely to result in fewer ducks there and more in the Bay.

"You never know we might end up with a number of the Waikato ducks in the Bay of Plenty over the opening weekend."

Sam Gardner