Fish and Game says it is disappointed to hear about the dumping of duck carcasses in a rest area in Otago, but insists the sport should not be banned.
Animal rights group SAFE said it was contacted on Thursday after a member of the public found 15 to 20 dead birds near Long Beach.
The group says the incident shows how little regard hunters have for the animals.
"Every year public spaces are used as an illegal dumping ground for dead birds shot by hunters," said SAFE campaigns manager Jessica Chambers.
She said the dead birds had been dumped in a rest area where many families stop to feed birds.
Otago Fish & Game Manager Ian Hadland told Newshub it appears the hunters took most of the meat off the birds, but that "doesn't condone illegal dumping of the remaining parts of the birds".
"This is littering and shows no respect for the environment or other people."
He said Fish and Game would like to track down the hunters to speak with them.
Animal rights groups have long called for an end to duck hunting, saying it is "inherently cruel" - and Chambers said this incident was another reason to ban the sport.
But Hadland said more than 4000 hunters took part in the season's opening weekend, with the vast majority of them "doing the right thing".
"One or two people have clearly not done so in this case and this is a reminder that the law applies to everyone.
"However, calls to ban hunting because of this type of behaviour are completely unwarranted."