The Department of Conservation (Doc) is calling on all
hunters to strictly adhere to the firearms safety code when
hunting on conservation land this season.
A critical factor in several fatal incidents in recent years
has been hunters failing to properly identify their target.
There were some simple measures a hunter could take to ensure
they were 100% certain of their target, Doc national hunting
adviser Ian Cooksley said.
''Hunters should wear clothing coloured so as to contrast
with the environment and the animals being hunted. If in any
doubt, shift to get a better view or don't shoot at all,'' Mr
''If hunting in a party, don't separate and continue to hunt
in the same area.
''Ensure the complete animal is seen, and don't shoot on the
basis of individual items such as colour or shape or sound.''
Mr Cooksley said anyone intending to hunt on public
conservation land must obtain a permit first from Doc and be
familiar with restrictions.
''Hunting permit holders are reminded to adhere to the permit
conditions and refrain from hunting in the hours of darkness,
or `spotlighting','' he said.
''This practice is not permitted on conservation land and
this is clearly stated on all Doc hunting permits.
''Spotlighting on conservation land poses a serious risk to
other people who are using these areas, such as campers and
walkers, and this practice must stop,'' Mr Cooksley said.
While most hunters are responsible and follow the firearms
safety code, firearms safety must be at the forefront of all
hunters' minds when in pursuit of that trophy or meat for the
Mr Cooksley recommends hunters attend the New Zealand
Deerstalkers Association ''Hunter National Training Scheme'',
known as ''HUNTS''.
• More information can be found on the NZ Mountain Safety
website and the Doc website.