Mai mai's creature comforts

Earnscleugh family members (from left) Andrew, Dave and Sarah Baird at their mai mai on Sunday....
Earnscleugh family members (from left) Andrew, Dave and Sarah Baird at their mai mai on Sunday. PHOTO: PAM JONES
Earnscleugh man Dave Baird is not quite able to shoot ducks from his front porch, although he does not have to go far to do so.

A mere 200m from his house, a made-to-measure pond is an easy stroll away, an accompanying mai mai providing a handy hideout for duck-shooters on the opening
weekend of duck-shooting season.

Family have front-row seats and this year Mr Baird's son, Andrew (11), had his third season duck-shooting alongside his father.

Mr Baird's daughter, Sarah (7), was also there and will next year have her first season duck-shooting, in keeping with family tradition.

Mr Baird said the "home comforts" of the mai mai - a corrugated iron affair surrounded by planting and with a couch and bar stools inside - were modest, but the proximity of the mai mai to their house added a touch of luxury.

"When I was growing up in Southland and we went duck-shooting we'd go away all weekend and it would take forever to load the car up with everything. Here, if we forget something or want to have something to eat or go to the toilet, we just nip back to the house."

The group of family and friends who shot on the pond netted 21 ducks on Saturday, and plucked them yesterday.

The Bairds' pet white ducks survived yet another season, nonplussed by the activity on the pond.

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