Bid for on-boat hunting on lakes

Queenstown fishing charter company is aiming to expand into hunting activities by introducing on-the-boat shooting on Lakes Wakatipu, Wanaka and Hawea.

Fishing charter company Queenstown Fishing lodged a resource consent application at the start of June with Lakes Environmental, applying for a variation to the original fishing and scenic tours consent for its 6.5m launch.

The consent application proposed five additional activities which could be carried out from the back of the boat, including clay target shooting, shooting of wild goats and red deer while drifting and fishing along the lake shores, and Canada geese or duck hunting, either from the boat or on shore.

A range of safety measures are proposed around the activities, with hunting to take place only in "remote parts of the lake", with only one person allowed to shoot at any one time, except for waterfowl, for which the consent applies for one to two people.

The waterfowl shooting would take place at the "headwaters of lakes" where numbers are higher.

If approved, deer and goat shooting targets would be clearly identified, using both the silenced hunting rifle's high-powered scope, as well as high-powered binoculars to ensure safety.

When approached by the Otago Daily Times, operator Trevor Cruickshank did not wish to comment on the proposal until it had been approved or otherwise.

The goat and deer hunting is conditional on consent of both private landowners and the Department of Conservation, depending on where the hunting is proposed.

Other safety considerations in the application included full firearm safety briefings before any shooting, no chambering off ammunition before targets have been fully identified, and appropriate storage of firearms.

- joe.dodgshun@odt.co.nz