Hunters need to stake their claim on their favourite maimai or duck shooting stand before the game bird season starts next month.

The new hunting season starts on May 4 and if a hunter wants to retain their favoured spot from last season, they must do it before 10am Sunday.

The process of claiming a hunting stand goes under many names depending on region - including marking up, pegging and tagging.

Other hunters wanting to stake their claim over an unclaimed maimai for the first time must wait until after 10am on that date.


Fish and Game policy and planning manager Robert Sowman said tagging a favoured maimai allowed hunters to set themselves up for opening weekend and have first claim on that spot for the rest of the season.

Hunters then need to be at the maimai within one hour of the opening hour of hunting.

"If they aren't there within that time, the spot can be used by any other licensed hunter for the rest of the day," Sowman said.

A 2019/20 game bird licence must be bought to reclaim a spot.

Sowman said the other important news for hunters was on recent changes to the gun laws following the Christchurch terrorist attack.

"It appears that the Government is leaning towards allowing five-shot magazines for the type of shotguns typically used by most game bird hunters. Magazine extensions are unlikely to be allowed.

"Fish and Game will be making submissions on the matter along with other organisations and will keep hunters informed of developments."