Duckshooting rules

There's a lot to do before you can have roast wild duck for dinner, as Farmer Freddy discovers.

Farmer Freddy was enjoying his coffee and toast after a busy morning milking when Joe, his farm worker, popped his head in the kitchen window.

"Freddy, can I build a mai mai on the pond in the back paddock and bring my mates over for a shoot?" asked Joe.

"The season starts on the seventh of May and I know you would love roast wild duck."

Freddy has never been a duck shooter and doesn't even own a gun.

"Joe, I think I had better talk to Pebbles before I let you start shooting ducks on my property," said Freddy.

So when Pebbles came home from work that evening, she was greeted by Freddy's announcement that he wants to go duck shooting on the pond with Joe.

"Dad, you need to be very careful about letting anyone shoot on your property," warned Pebbles.

"If you're going to buy a gun and do some shooting yourself, there are very strict rules that you need to comply with.

"First," explained Pebbles, "the Arms Act 1983 says you must apply to the arms officer, in person, at the police station for a fire arms licence. The police will check to see that you are a fit and proper person to possess fire arms and they will want to know that you can store your gun and ammunition safely.

"You will have to go to a training session and sit a safety test.

"If you pass everything, they will give you a fire arms licence that lasts for 10 years. Once you have a licence, you can buy a gun."

"What about shooting ducks on my property? Are there rules about that too?" asked Freddy.

"The Wildlife Act 1952 allows three people to hunt on a property - the occupier of land, his or her wife, husband or partner and one son or daughter," explained Pebbles. "Anyone else who wants to hunt on your property must have your permission and a game hunting licence that allows them to shoot ducks.

"That means only you, Mum and I can hunt on your property without a hunting licence.

"You also need to take steps to ensure your shooting doesn't endanger property, frighten anyone or put your neighbours at risk.

"It is important to let your neighbours know when you are planning to go duck shooting."

"What about hunting on the land next door that's managed by the Department of Conservation?" asked Freddy.

"If you want to hunt on DOC land, you will need to have a game hunting licence that allows you to hunt ducks," replied Pebbles.

"You will also need a permit from DOC to hunt on DOC land."

"The police website ( has information about getting a firearms licence and the Fish and Game site ( will help you with information about hunting licences," explained Pebbles.


The content of this document is necessarily general and readers should seek specific advice on particular matters and not rely solely on this document.
If you would like more information on any of the topics in this document, please contact your usual Auld Brewer Mazengarb & McEwen adviser.
Return to previous page Print