Duck shooting season got off to a chilly start in the Taupō district last weekend, with temperatures as low as -8C recorded at Lake Otamangakau.
Duck shooting is a social occasion with family and friends, but shooters had to wait three weeks longer for the season to open this year due to the coronavirus. The first weekend in May is when the season usually starts, however this year it was delayed to allow time for the country to move to Covid-19 alert level two.
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For the past 20 years, Two Mile Bay Sailing Club owners Tony and Torben Landl have been at Lake Otamangakau for the opening of the season. On Friday and Saturday night they camped at the boat ramp and on Sunday morning it was bright and clear - and very cold.
"Some other guys that have been going there for 35 years said the temperature of -8C was on par with the coldest temperatures they have experienced there," said Torben.
A club day at Taupō Clay Target Club was well attended on Sunday, and included visitors from Tokoroa. Club president Bill Mason said the clay bird shooting club was very sociable.
"I actually don't like duck shooting. People enjoy clay bird shooting because it is great fun and requires a lot of discipline."
He says they welcome new members, and people of all ages can join. Two high school teams train regularly at the club.
Bill said the club was run by a committee of experienced sportsmen and was very safety conscious.
"Clay bird shooting is very disciplined and there are lots of rules that club members adhere to."