Duck Season

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Duck season is one of those great occasions when mates across the country gather at the water’s edge to shoot water fowl spin over exaggerated tails and embrace the great outdoors. Speight’s knows the importance of celebrating at the end of each day.

The duck season opens in the first weekend of May and runs for 3 months. Usually by this date hours have been spent getting last seasons “maimai” (built structure used to conceal hunters from flying ducks) up to scratch. Elaborate structures have been known to be positioned waterside, anything from a single person scrub shelter to elaborate 2 story small house sized structures fully camouflaged using a combination of live and dead vegetation, camo paint jobs and camo netting fitted with running water and electricity. Regardless of size or extent it’s taken to build it, if you’re getting your bag limit then it’s worth the effort.

A licence must be obtained from Fish and Game New Zealand every season, at a cost of $90NZD (2013 whole season Adult licence). These can be purchased from most outdoor sporting stores. Duck shooters also need to hold a Firearms Licence (or be under the immediate supervision of someone that holds a Firearms Licence). Strict laws govern duck shooting activities, including restrictions on the number of birds which are allowed to be taken daily (which may change between provinces). For more information on the rules and regulations governing duck shooting, please visit http://hunting.fishandgame.org.nz/game-bird-hunting-new-zealand

To aid luring ducks in, a variety of decoy ducks and duck callers can be purchased commercially, although some hunters prefer to make their own. Duck species commonly hunted include MallardParadise ShelduckPacific Black Duck (known as Grey Ducks) and Northern Shoveler (known as Shoveler Ducks).

Once the hard work is done, Speight’s 5 Malt Old Dark is perfectly matched to accompany your opening weekend feast. Our favourite dish is a spicy duck stew, slow cooked and full of flavour. Recipe can be found in the Speight’s “Southern Man” Cookbook.  Purchase your copy here