Shots rang out across Hawke's Bay early Saturday morning as hunters made like ducks to water to begin this year's duck shooting season.
Hawke's Bay Fish and Game officer Tom Winlove said the start of the season went off smoothly and had no major incidents apart from a few shooters with licensing problems.
"Our rangers caught six hunters on Saturday with no gaming licence.
"It was quite disappointing after all the publicity this year with help from the police."
He said conditions weren't ideal for hunting but those who did make it to a decent catchment and find some wind did quite well.
"The weather was not great for duck shooting.
"Blue skies and no wind means the ducks didn't have to fly low or come into land seeking shelter, and therefore coming into our hunting zones."
Mr Winlove also said the record drought had played its part at the start of this season, resulting in some hunters going home empty handed.
"Those few guys that found a decent amount of water did well.
"All up it was a pretty successful weekend, considering the drought, though."
Hunter Ben Sanders went out with his family and children. He is hoping for more rain as the season progresses.
"We had a few showers, not much. Rainy weather is always a bit better for duck shooting, but we had a pretty good haul."
He said he planned to make the most of the season, which runs until June 30, and head out to his favourite spots most weekends.
"My kids are just starting to get involved now, so its nice to take them out and teach them," Mr Sanders said.