Get your must haves, get permission, sort out the maimai, check your gear.

Get Your Must Haves

  • A game bird hunting licence
  • Regulations booklet (that applies to your region)
  • ‘Non-toxic’ ammunition

Get Permission

  • Confirm access with landowners (say ‘thank you!)
  • Get permits to hunt on Fish & Game, DOC and forestry lands

Sort Out The Maimai

  • Claim your hunting spot with the tag that comes with your licence
  • Fix any leaks, rotten boards, seating
  • Finish camouflaging maimai with camo net or vegetation Find tips on building a maimai or camouflaging here
  • Make sure vegetation isn’t blocking your firing zone or where the ducks will land
  • Make sure your access path is cleared and safe to use

Check Your Gear

  • Clean & rig decoys – get a few new ones if needed
  • Ensure your shotgun is in tip-top condition
  • Make sure your shotgun magazine complies with the rules
  • Check and double-check that you don’t have any lead shot ammunition in your duck hunting bag
  • Make sure your boots and waders are still waterproof
  • If you are using a kayak or rowboat, ensure it’s shipshape
  • If you are hunting on open water, check your lifejackets
  • Continue your dog’s fitness regime, check vaccinations & worming

Be Safe!

  • Follow the advice of the Mountain Safety Council, experts in the safe handling of firearms.  Click here.


  • Practice your shooting – organise a clay bird session with your mates before the season starts
  • Pattern your shotgun – get to know the ammunition and chokes you are using
  • Practice your calling – make sure you know what you are doing with your duck call.  For tips from NZ duck calling champ Hunter Morrow, click here
  • Practice with your dog – reinforce the basic commands and have a refresher on retrieving. Remember to keep your dog on a leash when moving through farm stock, or meeting up with other people and their dogs.

Hunting away from home? Check the regulations for the region you’re going to:

Click here


  • Carry hunting and firearms licence at all times
  • Be safe with firearms and on the water - know the seven rules for safe firearm handling - click here
  • Be an ambassador for hunters - hunt ethically & responsibly
  • Clean your game bird harvest quickly to ensure the best quality meat for your table
  • Bury waste after cleaning your birds
  • Follow the rules


  • Don't drink & hunt
  • Don't leave rubbish at your stand
  • Don't be unethical – respect your quarry and the hunting regulations