Ducks Unlimited
Monday, 22 July 2019 01:21

That time of year – again

Game bird hunters are probably all checking their equipment ready for the May 3 Saturday start to the hunting season.

No 1 on the list should be the game bird hunting licence. Check your bank account, the full season licence has gone up one dollar. That’s right $91 this season.
 
Why the extra dollar? Fish & Game tell me the extra dollar will be going toward Mallard research.
 
Hunting has become so hi-tech in recent years the ducks really don’t stand a chance. Some hunters spend thousands of dollars in preparation for the season.

The camo gear, the special maimais, and even the decoys mean the ducks are duped into thinking there are real ducks on the water. 

Special paint on the decoy makes them look lifelike. Some decoys are made to look as if they are sleeping or feeding.
There are also decoys that paddle and splash the water. Then there are electronic callers. The ducks don’t really stand a chance…It is just as well there is a bag limit.
Some reminders for your prehunting list:

• Game bird hunting licence, regulations booklet.

• Carry firearms licence at all times.

• Confirm access with landowners.

• Get permit to hunt on Fish & Game and DOC land. • Fix the maimai: leaks, rotten boards seating etc.

• Clean decoys.

• Vaccinations and worming for the dog.

• Check regulations for the region you are hunting in. • Hunt ethically and responsibly.

• Don’t drink and hunt. Alcohol impairs judgement.

• Be a tidy kiwi – take your rubbish when you leave.

 
Basic safety rules:

• Shotgun in tip-top condition. Check sighting. • Treat every firearm as loaded.

• Store firearms and ammunition safely.

• Always point firearms in a safe direction.

• Load only when ready to fire.

• Always, always - identify your target.

• Check the firing zone.

 
 

 

Published in Issue 159

City slicker finds her roots - Or is that her webbed feet. 

Rosie is my daughter’s dog, a three–year-old spaniel, and totally a city pet. I was babysitting her while my daughter was shifting house. This was Rosie’s first time in the wilds and she was totally into things. It was the last shoot of the “Home of the Duck” consortium at Broadlands, just down the road from the late David Johnston, and once owned by Ian Pirani. The property has been sold after 25 years.

Smart dog ‘maimai’!!! 

The smartest dog Maimai any side of the Black Stump.

“Tried to get my Architectural group to list this in my portfolio of work. I thought it was rather catching as we all talk about the roof over our heads, they had other ideas - my request was declined.

“Still the dogs like that spot.and they scrap from time to time. 

Watch dog 

De-Jay keeps an intent eye over the wetland. He is the youngest of Ian Jensen’s three Labs.

Ed’s note: Tried to check on the correct spelling of maimai. It seems maimai is the NZ term and then mai-mai is an Australian aborigine hut. And certainly not to be confused with the term Mai-Mai that refers to any kind of community-based militia group active in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to defend their local territory against other armed groups.

Any other ideas on this spelling, caps or not caps, or pronunciation would be welcome.

Published in Issue 160
Monday, 19 March 2018 06:37

There must be ducks somewhere

Dianne's dogs

Published in Issue 164
Monday, 19 March 2018 06:32

The excitement of the shoot

Glen Butts at Lake Koromatua.
 
“I have been  shooting there for 33 years, the Maimai was rebuilt about 1992 by Murray Davies who uses the Maimai from the second weekend. In the foreground is my nephew Murray Butts and behind him is my son Craig Butts. Opening weekend always sees a few birds for the table.”
 
Murray has been a member of DU pretty much since the beginning, and said he and Kelvin Mackie were the first elected Directors of DU, back in the days of Ian and Dawn Pirani, Paul and Cheryl Pirani, Jack Worth, Bud Jones, Neil Hayes, Henry Lickers, Neil McCleod etc.
 
Photos: Glen Butts.
 
 

 

Published in Issue 164
Monday, 19 March 2018 06:23

Something about opening day

Rickie Cameron 10, Omamari, Kaipara.
 
“He has been out previously (not shooting),  but never opening weekend.”
 
Rickie is David Cameron’s son. They live  in Silverdale. “This was his first opening weekend and he was shooting with a Optima 410 single barrel shotgun and his trusty Ridgeline gear.
 
It was on private land, thanks to the local Omamari farmer.
 
Rickie loves to shoot clay birds, although with the 410 it isn’t that easy. Will move him up to a 20ga soon.”
 
 

 

Published in Issue 164
Monday, 19 March 2018 06:05

Did You Know

Did You Know?

Ducks Unlimited was incorporated by Joseph Knapp, EH Low and Robert Winthrop in January 29, 1937, in Washington, DC, USA as a result of their concerns (and those of other sportsmen), about the loss of wetlands as habitat for waterfowl and the impact this would have on waterfowl hunting. 
 
Ducks Unlimited Canada was incorporated in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada in March, 1937. Other chapters have since become operation in Latin America, Mexico, New Zealand and Australia. 
 
Anti-hunting lobbyists have consequently had an historically difficult relationship with DU and accuse DU of simply breeding ducks to be shot.
 
It was waterfowl hunters intent on preserving their recreational interests who founded DU USA, and it remains a pro-hunting organisation. Supporters counter the anti-hunting lobby by pointing out that many species besides waterfowl live in the habitat restored and protected by DU.  Wetlands  improve the overall health of the environment by recharging and purifying groundwater,  moderating floods and reducing soil erosion.  
DU has become a leader in waterfowl habitat conservation and has conserved more than 12.8 million acres (46,900km²) of waterfowl habitat in North America.
 
DU USA partners with a wide range of corporations, governments, non-governmental organisations, landowners, and private citizens to restore and manage areas that have been degraded and to prevent further degradation of wetlands. 
 
DU USA, in keeping with its founders’ intentions, also promotes the continuation of safe and regulated waterfowl hunting.
 
The majority of financial contributors and members are waterfowl hunters, and over 90 percent of those who read DU’s magazine are hunters.
 

 

Published in Issue 164
Friday, 23 February 2018 07:17

Game bird hunting season coming up

Better start getting ready

Top of the list should be the hunting licence, and probably the regulations booklet. Check out the Fish and Game website for the most up-to-date information. May 2 seems to be the opening day this year. Remember you must have your licence with you whenever and wherever you go hunting. Don’t try to use the licence from last year. They are not upgradable, exchangeable or refundable. If you lose your licence report it to Fish and Game and they will sort it out. F&G have an online licence system, or you can call their free phone licence number 0800 542 362, business hours only, $5 booking fee. Or you can visit any Fish and Game office or regional licence agent.

Hunting kit reminders:

  • Game bird hunting licence, regulations booklet. Carry firearms licence at all times.
  • Confirm access with landowners.
  • Get permit to hunt on Fish & Game and DOC land.
  • Fix the maimai: leaks, rotten boards seating etc.
  • Clean decoys.
  • Vaccinations and worming for the dog.
  • Check regulations for the region you are hunting in.
  • Hunt ethically and responsibly.
  • Don’t drink and hunt. Alcohol impairs judgement.
  • Be a tidy kiwi – take your rubbish when you leave.

Basic safety rules:

  • Shotgun in tip-top condition. Check sighting.
  • Treat every firearm as loaded.
  • Store firearms and ammunition safely.
  • Always point firearms in a safe direction.
  • Load only when ready to fire.
  • Always, always - identify your target.
  • Check the firing zone.

Keep it happy hunting 

With Duck Shooting seasons not far away it is well to remember about obligations of farm/land owners and of the recreational  visitors on the property.

Owners do have obligations under Health  and Safety legislation.

The first thing to take into account is that  this is not a paperwork nightmare. There is not lengthy form-filling required nor a need to sign people on and off the farm. It is really a matter of thinking about where the hunters will go, identifying hazards and risks the hunters wouldn’t reasonably expect in those areas, and warning them about those risks and how to avoid them.

The recommendation is to have a conversation with the hunter or hunter in charge of the party to pass on that information. Make a note in your farm diary about what you told them. Most people usually ring up the night (or during the week) before to make sure it’s all ok, so that’s a good time to have the discussion. 

Think about the sort of things to warn them about. Remember the things they wouldn’t reasonably expect (so if they are townies you might have to make allowance for that) in the areas they will be in. Some examples: Dangers from things like tree-felling, spraying or other work – if there is tree  felling in another area, are the trucks using the same tracks? Areas of instability such as paddocks with unexpected tomos or subject  to landslips. Aggressive stock that are near where they will be hunting. You might also let them know about communications (e.g. no cell coverage) so they can make alternate arrangements if they need to.

It’s also a good to get an idea of their timings, and tell them they should let you know if these change. You also need to make sure that all the people who are in the area (staff, contractors, other visitors / hunters) are aware of each other. 

If a visitor trips over a tree-root or stone, a property owner or occupier is unlikely to be held responsible for the other person’s carelessness. In addition, if the property owner or occupier could not reasonably have been expected to know of a hazard, they cannot be held responsible for any harm that occurs to a customer or client.

Remember the General Rule - as the person in charge of the workplace you are legally required to point out specific hazards, which you know could harm the person and which the person wouldn’t normally expect to encounter.

Happy hunting season.

Published in Issue 166
Friday, 16 February 2018 08:00

Duck hunting time

Keen for a bit of sport during duck hunting, Australian David McNabb checked in at Di Pritt’s (our co-patron’s) property to see what  sport was on offer.

Di’s two dogs Rommi and Luke were keen  for some action but on the whole it seemed  they were mostly just keeping an eye on proceedings at Swan Lake on Graeme Berry’s land.

Published in Issue 168
Wednesday, 07 February 2018 03:31

Ruffit Lodge opening day

Amazing how keen some folk are to get out there on opening day, rain or shine, they have the kit ready to go and hope to catch something in their sights….

An inter-generational hunt on Opening Day, with 11 hunters, plenty of camo, (and ammo presumably) and lots of enthusiasm, but no ducks.

But out at Ruffit Lodge on that day as a group trudged through the undergrowth to reach the optimum positions, other exciting things were taking place.

Up to 22 ducklings had huddled together, if  that was wise or not, I do not know, but Julie Candy certainly took a few photos of those little fluffy birds. Julie said there were actually two clutches of duckling, with 22 in one clutch.

And then there was the case of the lost frog. How it ended up on Neil Candy’s thumb I am not sure, but he recognised it as a tree frog – imported of course. 

After a couple of emails to a helpful boffin at Victoria Uni, we had an actual scientific name. The frog is an introduced Australian brown tree frog (or whistling frog) Litoria ewingii. Now how is that for name!

Published in Issue 169
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