Federated Farmers wants duck hunters heading out for the season opening this weekend to enjoy themselves and to remember to thank the many farmers who provide access to their shooting spots.
The ‘Opening Day’ of the duck-shooting season is a special event in rural New Zealand, with 40,000 annual participants getting ready to head out on the first Saturday in May.
“Duck hunters and farmers are particularly looking forward to the return of the opening weekend tradition this season, after many people’s plans were interrupted by COVID-19 last year,” Federated Farmers President and firearms spokesperson Andrew Hoggard says.
“Many farmers across the country invite hunters onto their farms, but we would like to remind these visitors that their hunting spot is also a business, home and place of other recreation, and we ask that people recognise this if they head out for a shoot on private land.
“Remember that although some landowners are exempt from needing a duck shooting licence, for those who are not, getting caught without a licence or using lead shot will now most likely mean a loss of your firearms licence. Play by the rules, it’s just not worth the risk.’’
Health and safety around firearms, water and vehicles remains the number one consideration. For sheep farmers, sheep measles is a big concern, and all dogs must be dosed for worms at least 48 hours before going on to farmland.
“Opening weekend is a traditional time for farmers to share their properties with visitors from town and a chance for hunters to show their appreciation to their farmer hosts. We just want everyone to have a good time this weekend and come home safe to their loved ones,” Andrew said.