Duck shooting season begins Saturday

By Mere McLean

Excitement is building for those participants who enjoy duck shooting with the opening of the season set for this Saturday, however authorities are clamping down on safety regulations. Keen shooters in the Whakatāne area are urging other shooters not to be complacent this season.

“In the old days where I grew up, my elders were there to show me how to shoot ducks, firstly don't bring alcohol into the situation” says Joseph Pryor, of Ngāti Awa and Tūhoe.

Alcohol and gun safety will be key areas this duck shooting season.  Opening season officially starts at 6:15am on Saturday morning, for one hunting and fishing representative from the Whakatāne area though, he urges safety however, don't overlook the fun aspect of the season.

Hunting & Fishing spokesman for the Whakatāne region, Steve Bloor , says, “Just have fun, stay safe, try and avoid all the accidents out there it's been pretty good seasons most of the years.”

There have been numerous incidents involving duck shooters in the past, however in 2009 a particular incident became fatal for a family from the Hawkes Bay area.  For one keen hunter of Ngāti Awa and Tūhoe the hope is that does not occur this season.

“You should be careful, where your gun is aiming, if its outside or in the house, open your gun so you can see if it’s loaded” warns Pryor.

With more than 30,000 duck season licences expected to be issued this week.  This Saturday is going to be a cracker.