Ducks Unlimited NZ

Displaying items by tag: Shooting

Monday, 21 October 2019 22:18

Whistling as he works

The guest speaker at this year’s conference, Murray Stevenson, spoke about gun dogs and the importance of training them to suit the terrain. The three main groups of gun dogs – retrievers, spaniels and pointers/setters – all have very different temperaments and purposes.

He stressed the importance of letting puppies play and not putting too much pressure on them too early, saying to fully train a gun dog takes two years or more.

Experience has taught him that eight dogs equals eight times more work. It was important for owners of multiple dogs to give each dog one-on-one time and make sure none were left out.

He brought along some of his $3000 worth of dog training equipment with him and explained some basic techniques such as teaching pups to respond to a whistle rather than a human voice, and as a first step for them to learn “yes” and “no”.

Through a series of anecdotes, Murray described his experiences with different breeds. Labradors, he said, were easy to train as they were one-dimensional: they liked peanut butter sandwiches and retrieving ducks.

He said the two true bird dogs were the English pointer and English setter. Murray’s not-so-successful experience with owning an English setter taught him that they are good in long-range conditions but not suited to bush-covered, short-range conditions, and can be a challenge to train.

His advice for teaching a dog to run in a straight line is to train it along a fenceline, using incremental steps, so the dog can only deviate left or right, not both ways, making it easier to control.

He concluded by saying, “We hurry our training too much. Make sure your dog is 100 per cent right before you move on.”




Published in Issue 177
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Monday, 19 March 2018 19:50

Bring back lead shot

Call to bring back lead shot for duck shooting

On the eve of the duck shooting season New Zealand First repeated its call for the restoration of lead shot.
“Many shooters say the steel shot does not always kill and birds may die over hours or days,” said spokesperson on Outdoor Recreation Richard Prosser.
“Some shooters are using smaller gauge shotguns so they can use the lead shot to kill instantly. Others are having to cope with steel  shot, and taking care to aim appropriately to try for a ‘clean kill’, but they want a return to lead shot.
“It’s high time the government listened to shooters, took all aspects of animal welfare seriously and ensured lead shot was made available for the commonly used 12 gauge shot gun”.
Authorised by Richard Prosser,
Government Buildings, Wellington.




Published in Issue 164
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Monday, 19 March 2018 19:32

The excitement of the shoot

Glen Butts at Lake Koromatua.
“I have been  shooting there for 33 years, the Maimai was rebuilt about 1992 by Murray Davies who uses the Maimai from the second weekend. In the foreground is my nephew Murray Butts and behind him is my son Craig Butts. Opening weekend always sees a few birds for the table.”
Murray has been a member of DU pretty much since the beginning, and said he and Kelvin Mackie were the first elected Directors of DU, back in the days of Ian and Dawn Pirani, Paul and Cheryl Pirani, Jack Worth, Bud Jones, Neil Hayes, Henry Lickers, Neil McCleod etc.
Photos: Glen Butts.


Published in Issue 164
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Monday, 19 March 2018 19:23

Something about opening day

Rickie Cameron 10, Omamari, Kaipara.
“He has been out previously (not shooting),  but never opening weekend.”
Rickie is David Cameron’s son. They live  in Silverdale. “This was his first opening weekend and he was shooting with a Optima 410 single barrel shotgun and his trusty Ridgeline gear.
It was on private land, thanks to the local Omamari farmer.
Rickie loves to shoot clay birds, although with the 410 it isn’t that easy. Will move him up to a 20ga soon.”


Published in Issue 164
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Monday, 19 March 2018 19:05

Did You Know

Did You Know?

Ducks Unlimited was incorporated by Joseph Knapp, EH Low and Robert Winthrop in January 29, 1937, in Washington, DC, USA as a result of their concerns (and those of other sportsmen), about the loss of wetlands as habitat for waterfowl and the impact this would have on waterfowl hunting. 
Ducks Unlimited Canada was incorporated in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada in March, 1937. Other chapters have since become operation in Latin America, Mexico, New Zealand and Australia. 
Anti-hunting lobbyists have consequently had an historically difficult relationship with DU and accuse DU of simply breeding ducks to be shot.
It was waterfowl hunters intent on preserving their recreational interests who founded DU USA, and it remains a pro-hunting organisation. Supporters counter the anti-hunting lobby by pointing out that many species besides waterfowl live in the habitat restored and protected by DU.  Wetlands  improve the overall health of the environment by recharging and purifying groundwater,  moderating floods and reducing soil erosion.  
DU has become a leader in waterfowl habitat conservation and has conserved more than 12.8 million acres (46,900km²) of waterfowl habitat in North America.
DU USA partners with a wide range of corporations, governments, non-governmental organisations, landowners, and private citizens to restore and manage areas that have been degraded and to prevent further degradation of wetlands. 
DU USA, in keeping with its founders’ intentions, also promotes the continuation of safe and regulated waterfowl hunting.
The majority of financial contributors and members are waterfowl hunters, and over 90 percent of those who read DU’s magazine are hunters.


Published in Issue 164
Friday, 09 March 2018 21:56

Good news for good shots

A DUNZ member has provided the following information.

From a recent Council of Licensed Firearm Owners (COLFO) newsletter.

Please circulate and if you are not a member of COLFO and Sporting Shooters Association of New Zealand please consider joining. The bar stewards are not going to give up trying to take our hobby, sport and interests away from us:

A Win for Auckland Shooting Club and all NZ Shooting Ranges with financial assistance from Pistol New Zealand and COLFO, we are pleased to report that the Auckland Shooting Club has won its legal Battle with Auckland City Council to have its certificate of Compliance reinstated.

Auckland Council had revoked the certificate on the grounds of perceived lead contamination discharges to land and water.

If the Council stance had been upheld it could have heralded the end of shooting ranges in New Zealand.

This information has been provided by a DUNZ member.
Published in Issue 174
Sunday, 25 February 2018 22:51

The Anti-lead shot mythology

(Also known as pseudo science, mythical science and subversion of science.)
Only over the past few years has it become widely appreciated that the anti-lead shot/antilead projectile brigade’s ‘scientific evidence’ does either not exist or the evidence is a figment of someone’s imagination – MYTHOLGY; i.e. scientific ‘opinion’ not based on any honest scientific research!

Way back in the 1950s research commenced to prove that wild waterfowl die from ingesting lead shot, but when this research failed to determine this hypothesis another pseudo research programme was created - one that saw huge numbers of captive waterfowl dosed with massive quantities of lead shot; this resulted in a number of birds dying! Hardly surprising as the amount of dosage was hundred times greater than any bird would intake in the wild.

Google – search for: Dosing ducks with lead shot.
In the late 1950s the United Nations latched on to the opportunity to establish a world-wide anti-lead programme, solely aimed at curtailing the growth of shooting sports and at the same time take firearms out of private hands!

In 2012 the UK’s high profile Countryside Alliance financed extensive research on lead in the environment; this determined that 30 commonly eaten foods all contained element of lead – none of which had come from lead shot!

Lead in the environment is a naturally occurring element and no-one appears to have died from eating any of the 30 foods listed in the CA research publication.

Australian scientist John Reid said this about ‘modern scientific research:
“There are issues concerning the way science and scientists are perceived by the public and by themselves. “Why is it assumed that science always gets it right, that only industry is capable of wrecking the environment? “
There are issues about the unholy alliance between environmental scientists on the government payroll and environmental activists and lobby groups acting politically.

“There are issues about the way in which scientists continue to produce those environmental “threats” which have proven so useful in maintaining project funding.”

John Reid has also said:
“It works like this: activists, NZ - Forest & Bird, the Green Party, Dept of Conservation, etc., and overseas, the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, US Fish & Game, etc use science to push for international action on a science-related issue in an area such as health or environment. Then, an international agreement is established, and the science on which it is has been based becomes institutionalised and funded by government. Time and again, when this happens, “the science” stops being science.

“This is because the scientists working on the relevant topic start being advocates and stop being researchers. After all, they are now being paid by the bureaucracy to support a particular doctrine, not to discover new stuff.” (The Subversion of Science).

Recently – from the USA’s Hunt for Truth:
The crux of anti-hunting activists’ argument against traditional ammunition rests on the misplaced assertion that the use of lead ammunition for hunting leads to elevated lead exposure and poisoning in scavenging animals, such as the California condor, that allegedly ingest fragments of spent ammunition in gutpiles or carcasses left by hunters. The scientific studies relied on by the anti-lead proponents are in fact not scientifically sound.
The proponents use “faulty science” to support their antilead ammunition agenda. has procured and analysed over one hundred thousand documents from governmental agencies, universities and researchers and have found systemic flaws, which include faulty methodology and sampling protocols and the selective use of data (i.e. “cherry picking” data for publication).

The anti-lead ammunition proponents have employed psuedo science as a tool to support their distorted agenda. Indeed, the scientific studies used to impose lead ammunition bans are flawed. Researchers who have published these papers have used questionable sampling sizes and have ignored data believed to be contrary to their pre-conceived conclusions regarding lead ammunition. They have also routinely ignored evidence of alternative sources of lead in the environment as a potential cause of lead poisoning or mortality in wildlife. Key studies that profess to link lead ammunition to lead poisoning or mortality in wildlife have been criticised by scientists, and have even been embroiled in lawsuits for withholding original data that show results contrary to their published conclusions.

In March 2015 I detailed the background to this anti-lead shot scenario pointing out that this has played the major role in the demise of the mallard – and possibly the demise of duck shooting in this country.

This was distributed widely – here and overseas – and here it has resulted in NZ Fish & Game admitting that there is a major problem with mallard numbers!

Neil Hayes
Published in Issue 165
Tagged under
Sunday, 25 February 2018 20:53

Blue Rock shoot at Martinborough

In association with DUNZ the Blue Rock Gun Club shoot took place in early October with 59 shooters taking part.
Paul Hallett won top prize.
Published in Issue 165
Friday, 23 February 2018 20:17

Game bird hunting season coming up

Better start getting ready

Top of the list should be the hunting licence, and probably the regulations booklet. Check out the Fish and Game website for the most up-to-date information. May 2 seems to be the opening day this year. Remember you must have your licence with you whenever and wherever you go hunting. Don’t try to use the licence from last year. They are not upgradable, exchangeable or refundable. If you lose your licence report it to Fish and Game and they will sort it out. F&G have an online licence system, or you can call their free phone licence number 0800 542 362, business hours only, $5 booking fee. Or you can visit any Fish and Game office or regional licence agent.

Hunting kit reminders:

  • Game bird hunting licence, regulations booklet. Carry firearms licence at all times.
  • Confirm access with landowners.
  • Get permit to hunt on Fish & Game and DOC land.
  • Fix the maimai: leaks, rotten boards seating etc.
  • Clean decoys.
  • Vaccinations and worming for the dog.
  • Check regulations for the region you are hunting in.
  • Hunt ethically and responsibly.
  • Don’t drink and hunt. Alcohol impairs judgement.
  • Be a tidy kiwi – take your rubbish when you leave.

Basic safety rules:

  • Shotgun in tip-top condition. Check sighting.
  • Treat every firearm as loaded.
  • Store firearms and ammunition safely.
  • Always point firearms in a safe direction.
  • Load only when ready to fire.
  • Always, always - identify your target.
  • Check the firing zone.

Keep it happy hunting 

With Duck Shooting seasons not far away it is well to remember about obligations of farm/land owners and of the recreational  visitors on the property.

Owners do have obligations under Health  and Safety legislation.

The first thing to take into account is that  this is not a paperwork nightmare. There is not lengthy form-filling required nor a need to sign people on and off the farm. It is really a matter of thinking about where the hunters will go, identifying hazards and risks the hunters wouldn’t reasonably expect in those areas, and warning them about those risks and how to avoid them.

The recommendation is to have a conversation with the hunter or hunter in charge of the party to pass on that information. Make a note in your farm diary about what you told them. Most people usually ring up the night (or during the week) before to make sure it’s all ok, so that’s a good time to have the discussion. 

Think about the sort of things to warn them about. Remember the things they wouldn’t reasonably expect (so if they are townies you might have to make allowance for that) in the areas they will be in. Some examples: Dangers from things like tree-felling, spraying or other work – if there is tree  felling in another area, are the trucks using the same tracks? Areas of instability such as paddocks with unexpected tomos or subject  to landslips. Aggressive stock that are near where they will be hunting. You might also let them know about communications (e.g. no cell coverage) so they can make alternate arrangements if they need to.

It’s also a good to get an idea of their timings, and tell them they should let you know if these change. You also need to make sure that all the people who are in the area (staff, contractors, other visitors / hunters) are aware of each other. 

If a visitor trips over a tree-root or stone, a property owner or occupier is unlikely to be held responsible for the other person’s carelessness. In addition, if the property owner or occupier could not reasonably have been expected to know of a hazard, they cannot be held responsible for any harm that occurs to a customer or client.

Remember the General Rule - as the person in charge of the workplace you are legally required to point out specific hazards, which you know could harm the person and which the person wouldn’t normally expect to encounter.

Happy hunting season.

Published in Issue 166
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