Tis the season

Open day of duck shooting season has been a long standing tradition in the Dyson household. It's also the perfect time to catch up with friends and family who come from far and wide to enjoy this great tradition.


“In our house duck shooting begins long before opening weekend on the 1st May” says Jeremy. “My sons Ben and Taine are both pretty good with a shotgun and the more comfortable they are with their firearms the better their success.  A good day on clay birds also helps to hone skills for the upcoming season.”

A couple of months before opening the mai mai gets a “scrub up”. The key is being able to apply camouflage that is consistent with the area.

On the Friday night about 15 of us get together to do last minute preparation ready for the early morning start.  We then drag ourselves out of bed at 5.30am, have a big cooked breakfast, then we camo up - jackets, pants, hats, face masks or paint are all piled on before we head out to the utes to load up 100 decoys, ammo, shotgun, children, food and dogs.


Once at the pond the older boys get the decoys out, trying to imitate what the ducks have looked like on the pond, and we get ready for the sun to come up.

The first flight in is the most exciting, in our mai mai only two of us use duck callers and the least experienced boys get the first shots before the big boys get the follow ups.  Over the years we have drilled all the boys for safety and no nonsense is tolerated with firearms anywhere.

If we are lucky by 10am we have normally seen a few birds and managed to put a few on the deck. We would like to think we are very respectful to all game we hunt and we are aiming to put every duck in the freezer. For the humble mallard I like to roast them in a dish on top of a layer of onions and liquid chicken stock with a nice sage stuffing. For parries (paradise ducks) we make them into sausages and salamis. We don’t shoot greys or shovelers.

At around 9am we normally have a big cook up on the BBQ with rich food being the order of the morning, fatty hogget chops, venison steaks, paua and oysters are consumed with another cup of tea!  Then we are off to footy with the boys - 8 boys going in five different ways keeps us busy till after lunch, then we are home for the evening flight of duck in the pond.

Duck shooting to us isn’t just about the shooting, it’s the time spent together with great friends and family, good working dogs, the opportunity to put your wits against a cunning opponent and enjoy the great outdoors in our great Waimate District.”

Favourite thing about Waimate District:

Hunting, fishing and rugby

Favourite thing to eat in Waimate District


Favourite place in Waimate Distric

Waihao Forks Pub

Taine Dyson


Favourite thing about Waimate District:

Fishing and hunting

Favourite thing to eat in Waimate District

Steak at the Waihao Forks

Favourite place in Waimate District

White Horse hill

Ben Dyson


Kate O'Connell