Decoys in demand as shooters prepare
Southland hunting stores were kept busy this week as thousands of duckshooters stocked up on supplies to be ready for the start of the season, which kicked off this morning.
Mallard duck season runs from today to July 28 with a bag limit of 15 for the opening weekend and 10 thereafter.
Invercargill Hunting & Fishing New Zealand co-owner Gerald McRae said they had sold 2500 duck shooting licences since March 22 and it was the busiest he had seen the shop in several seasons.
"It's been a really good season. Everyone seems really excited," he said.
More mechanical water decoys, which create ripples in the water to attract ducks, were sold than previous years rather than battery operated air decoys, Mr McRae said.
The bump in sales was on the back of a good breeding season and more ducks around, he said.
Donna Keane, office manager at Shooters World in Gore, said staff had been run off their feet this week.
Customers were stocking up on ammunition and licences, Keane said.
There were no "new toys" this season but they had completely sold out of water decoys which was not unusual, she said.
Invercargill duckshooter Derek Manson, who has been hunting for the past 15 years, was busy setting up floating duck decoys and stocking up on supplies yesterday.
About 200 duck decoys were set up in the two-hectare pond as well as propeller duck decoys, he said.
Manson and his friends were set to start shooting at 7am this morning, hunt throughout the weekend and then on and off for the rest of the season.
"This is our Christmas," he said.
Fortunately the weather was forecast to bring a bit of wind for today which was better than the past couple of opening weekends, he said. firstname.lastname@example.org
The Southland Times