“Dad, it’s cold, can we go home,” “I’m bored,” “There’s never any ducks dad, let’s just go…” - Ever heard that from your kids before? 

Below is a short article by Andrew Currie outlining how you can keep your kids in the maimai until the action starts.

Keeping your kids in the game

By Andrew Currie (Fish & Game’s South Island communications advisor and is a mad keen game bird hunter.)

“Dad, it’s cold, can we go home,” “I’m bored,” “There’s never any ducks dad, let’s just go…”

So much for that fun experience taking your darling son or daughter out duck shooting on Opening morning (or any other morning). You know the one, the same experience you had with your dad and he with his.

Unfortunately, what we may have forgotten over time is how boring some of those times were for us too – Opening mornings when the forecast overhead conditions didn’t eventuate, and the air is still and the cloud cover is nowhere to be seen. You know it’s going to be a long morning!

At least the Labrador can curl up at your feet and make the most of a sleep in the sun.

What can we do?

Go for a distraction, any distraction, to help take your kids’ mind off the fact that not much is happening.

I tend to pack a few of my daughter’s favourite chocolate bars or biscuits (just don’t tell mum), a pack of cards, and a book.

I’ve even let her bring the cursed ‘tablet’ into the maimai on occasions (only for when the sun is up though). Of course, the tablet backfired once as I hadn’t remembered to charge it – you can’t think of everything!

The fact of the matter is, anything that keeps them there until the action starts is a good thing. I find that best of all is the time honoured game of ‘Eye Spy’, at least then we are all looking up, because maybe, just maybe, if we wait for a couple of hours we might have a couple of birds drop in.