Federated Farmers, the Mountain Safety Council and NZ Police would like farmers to remind the hunters that use their properties to take extra care as the deer roar approaches.
Because of the COVID lock-down last year, hunters will be even more keen to get into the hills this season. Unfortunately the months of March and April are also when half of all big game hunting accidents happen in New Zealand.
The seven rules of firearms safety must always be followed by all hunters, no matter how experienced they are.
The Seven Firearms Safety Rules:
Rule 1: Treat every firearm as loaded
Rule 2: Always point firearms in a safe direction
Rule 3: Load a firearm only when ready to fire
Rule 4: Identify your target beyond all doubt
Rule 5: Check your firing zone
Rule 6: Store firearms and ammunition safely
Rule 7: Avoid both alcohol and drugs when handling firearms
Hunters need to think about safety not only when shooting but also when using vehicles off-road, crossing rivers, accessing steep or rough terrain and travelling in the dark.
Every roar a number of search and rescue operations are undertaken to rescue hunters who have become lost or hurt themselves, including on private land.
This is also a good time for farmers and other landowners to remind the hunters who use your property that access is a privilege and that they need to respect property boundaries and follow any instructions or rules you have in place.
All hunters must have permission to hunt, regardless of who owns the land – no permission, no access. If you see or hear anyone on your property without permission phone the Police and let them know. There were several successful prosecutions for hunting trespass during the roar last year.
This time of the year is eagerly anticipated by hunters and we want everyone to have a great time, hunt safely and legally and come home to their families and communities.
Check out the new hunter safety videos from the Mountain Safety Council and NZ Police, they are both good reminders of how things can go wrong: