When duck hunting there are two crucial things – stay out of sight and encourage the ducks to think that your place is safe.

While camouflage clothing and thick vegetation can provide the necessary cover, often it will be necessary to build a hunters’ hut or maimai to escape the weather and for better concealment. Try to blend the maimai into the local area by using similar vegetation but don’t remove this from its immediate surroundings. Build it well before the season so the duck get used to it. For more detailed information on BUILDING A MAIMAI, check out this page here where you will find links to plans and construction guidelines.

Another alternative is a portable maimai that you take with you. These range from a camo net and a few poles, to purpose built collapsible systems available from hunting retailers. Once you're confident that you can keep out of sight, selecting a good site is important. This requires consideration of prevailing wind (ducks prefer to land and take off into the wind), flight paths, rising and setting sun.

When building a permanent maimai, you should consider the following points

  • You must be able to get in and out easily
  • It should provide enough shelter for you, a companion and dog(s)
  • A suggested size is 2m x 2m
  • It must allow you to shoot comfortably and safely
  • Incorporate a dog port
  • Any maimai has to be part and parcel of the immediate surroundings and well camouflaged
  • Don’t clear the surround area of vegetation and don’t use vegetation unnatural to the area

Pegging and claiming a maimai or stand

On public land you will need to ‘tag' or ‘claim’ your maimai, and your licence explains how to do this. Tagging or pegging day is usually at least four weeks before opening weekend, so you'll need to buy your licence before this date. On private land, tagging is not necessary, but you still need a licence.

Often there will be someone else’s maimai present at a choice spot. You can set up 90 metres or more away from an existing maimai if there’s free space. You can use some maimais on public land, as long as you have the appropriate DOC permit, for the remainder of the day if they are unoccupied after 7:30am. After the first week of the season, many such spots are vacant, often with ducks right in front of them!

face mask

A facemask can make all the difference

improv maimai

An effective improvised maimai

use what cover available

Use whatever cover is available. This hunter has pulled a few dead branches and gorse together to break his outline.