Get your must-haves:

• A game bird hunting licence.
• Regulations booklet.
• Non toxic ammunition.

Get permission:

• Confirm access with landowners.
• Get permits to hunt on Fish & Game, DOC and forestry lands.

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Sort out the maimai:

• Claim your hunting spot with the tag that comes with your licence.
• Fix any leaks, rotten boards, seating and finish camouflaging the maimai with camo net or vegetation.
• Make sure vegetation isn't blocking your firing zone or where the ducks will land.
• Make sure your access path is cleared and safe to use.

Check your gear:

• Clean and rig decoys.
• Ensure your shotgun is in tip-top condition and your magazine complies with the rules.
• Check and double-check that you don't have any lead shot ammunition in your duck hunting bag.
• Make sure your boots and waders are still waterproof.
• If you are using a kayak or rowboat, ensure it's shipshape.
• If you are hunting on open water, check your lifejackets.

Hunting away from home? Check the regulations for the region you're going to.
Do:

• Carry hunting and firearms licence at all times.
• Be safe with firearms and on the water — know the seven rules for safe firearms.
• Be an ambassador for hunters — hunt ethically and responsibly.
• Clean your game bird harvest quickly to ensure the best quality meat for your table.
• Bury waste after cleaning your birds.