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Getting Started

Hunting encourages a variety of activities and the development of values that are important to New Zealanders. Hunters are responsible for the protection and development of wildlife habitats, they monitor and advocate for the environment, and lead hunting, outdoor and safety programmes.

Hunting also develops positive traits such as responsibility, confidence, cooperation, discipline, patience and builds community and family relationships.

In this section, and alongside our “Introduction to Duck Hunting” DVD, we introduce you to basic techniques and methods to get you started in a pastime that may become a lifelong passion.

We wish you good hunting, and ask that you practice ethical behaviour and good sportsmanship at all times.

Hunter National Training Scheme (HUNTS)

The hunter national training scheme (HUNTS) introduces new hunters to the skills and knowledge to be safe and successful in our New Zealand outdoor environment.

Selecting Your Shotgun

Most moderately priced shotguns will last a lifetime if well looked after. The most common shotgun calibre is 12 gauge (and 12 gauge ammunition in less expensive than other gauge ammo).


The range of 12 gauge ammunition can be bewildering for a new hunter.

Non Toxic Shot Regulations

In New Zealand it is compulsory to use non-toxic shot when hunting waterfowl with any gun using a 10 or 12 gauge cartridge for all areas, including private land, within 200m of a water body and wetlands.

Hunting Equipment

Yes, you can spend up large on gamebird hunting, but you can also do well with much more modest resources – and this is one of the great attractions of the sport.

Maimais & Cover

When duck hunting there are two crucial things – stay out of sight and encourage the ducks to think that your place is safe.

Decoys & Calling

If you are trying to lure birds to a particular spot, decoys will often help as their use encourages passing birds to think the area is safe.

Shooting & Hunting Tips

Here we share general hunting advice plus tips to help you with your shooting aim.