Photo by m01229/Flickr.

Hunters urged to stay safe during cyclone

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Fish & Game is urging game bird hunters wanting to stake a claim on their favourite hunting spot to take care as Cyclone Debbie lashes much of the country.

The storm has brought heavy rain and flooding to many areas, including the rivers, wetlands and ponds favoured by game bird hunters.

This Sunday, hunters are allowed to claim any vacant hunting stand or maimai from 10am, but Fish & Game is asking its licence holders to be careful, especially if water levels are still high.

“We know people are keen to make sure they have a good spot for opening morning, but common sense must prevail,” says Fish & Game’s Communications Manager Don Rood.

“Our advice is to exercise caution and for hunters not to take any risks just to make sure they have the hunting spot they want.

“It is a far better idea to wait until floodwaters drop.”

The 2017 game bird hunting season begins on May 6 but hunters are able to claim their hunting spot on April 9 to give them time to prepare their maimai, or hide.

If a hunter wants to retain their favourite spot, they need to claim it before 10am on Sunday, April 9.

Those wishing to reclaim their spot need to buy a 2017-18 Game Bird Licence, which contains your claim tag from http://hunting.fishandgame.org.nz/content/hunting-licence-info

Hunters are also reminded to check the regional regulations before heading out on opening day as Nelson-Marlborough are now banning magazine extensions for shotguns.