Lynley Tulloch

I love ducks too, they’re delicious

Some womble from Waikato University wants to ban duck shooting…because she loves ducks.

Well I love ducks too; that’s why I shoot them. They’re delicious.

I read the recent promotion of duck shooting advertisement in the Herald on Sunday with disquiet. You see, I have always been one to stick up for the underdog (in this case the underduck). The duck certainly needs an ally. It’s not as if they can build trenches in the wetlands and shoot back at the hunters.

I’ll begin with a story. As with all good stories there are two sides. In this case there is the duck and the hunter. I am interested in the duck’s side. Let’s make this more personal and imagine two paradise ducks. They are endemic to New Zealand, but it is legal to shoot them during duck-shooting season, as long as you adhere to bag limits and have a permit.

The female duck is a beautiful chestnut with a pure white head. She partners for life with a male, who is dark grey with a black head. Visualise them, if you will, sleeping contentedly, their heads tucked beneath their wings awaiting the sunrise.

As the sun rises and they take to the air, the glint of the rays sparkling on water droplets clinging to their chestnut and dark grey feathers. And then a crack. Yelps of human joy as a one of the ducks falls wounded back to the water, her neck arching in spasms and her legs peddling awkwardly.

A splash as the hunter’s dog wades in to retrieve the hapless duck in her death throes. She is placed in a bag. The first of many on opening day, May 1, 2016.

I am going to go out on a limb here and suggest that the duck did not want to die, and will be mourned by her partner for the rest of his life.

But it’s all good fun isn’t it? It’s woven into the very cultural fabric of rural life. Duck hunters have planned for this, lived for it all year.

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