Opening day, 2012

May 07, 2012

Duck shooting

First weekend of May is always an active one in my neighbourhood. It’s not unusual to hear a gunshot or two round here on a weekend, but only one day a year does volley after volley of shots ring out from every corner of the of the district starting right on daylight whatever the weather-and it’s always that first weekend of May-duck shooting opening weekend.

I’m not as keen a duck hunter as some are but I, like many big game hunters polish the old shotgun up, have a mighty feed of bacon and eggs then head out the door to sit in the cold on the edge of a water body somewhere drinking hot cups of tea waiting for the illusive duck to come in to the chirping of fake calls and plastic floating decoys out in front of me. It’s always a good morning. This year was different-this year I was invited to come along on a hunt on an irrigation pond in mid-Canterbury before heading back to the pond on the family farm which is where I normally shoot all my ducks. My neighbour Sam had jacked up the shoot. With us his brothers Daniel and James and our mates Wolfi and Russell, James’s dog Mac and Sam’s dog Bri headed off on Friday night and camped in Rakaia. We awoke to a dark morning, it was 5am mind you-but it was far from unpleasant as Sam had beaten us up and had breakfast made!


The dam was huge-2 and a half hectares I was told but it was full of ducks, hundreds of them! First thing Sam did was flush them off, no shots were fired-and we headed for the mai-mai’s Sam had prepared earlier which is where we sat as the hundreds of ducks circled and came back in to the waiting guns. I stood back and watched as the more serious duck hunters got into it and knocked a few out of the sky.




James’s dog Mac was a true champion-he was out in the water whenever one fell from the sky-and bought them all back to his master.


After a couple of hours of shooting, Russ, Wolfi and I headed homeward-I had a few jobs to do on the farm before an evening shoot was going to cause havoc on the pond-we weren’t disappointed, and ended up with more than a few feast’s worth of ducks for the lot of us. Sam, Daniel and James took the day a whole lot more serious than Russ, Wolfi and I who seem to live for the mountains and the animals they contain rather than ducks, but none the less we had a great day, enjoyable, sociable and definitely memorable.


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