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Duck Hunters Get Top Marks For Firearms Safety

Tuesday 4 May 2004
MEDIA RELEASE

Wellington Duck Hunters Get Top Marks For Firearms Safety

Wellington duck hunters shooting on and around the Lake Wairarapa wetlands over the opening weekend of the 2004 game season got top marks from Fish & Game NZ and the NZ Police for their safe use of firearms.

“Both our Rangers and the Police were very impressed at the high standard of safe firearms handling practiced by the Wairarapa duck hunters”, says Fish & Game spokesperson Blake Abernethy.

Fish & Game NZ and the Police mounted a joint operation over opening weekend – ‘Operation Bird Shot’ – with the Police checking Firearms Licences and Fish & Game Rangers checking hunting licences and compliance with regulations prohibiting lead shot.

Says Mr Abernethy: “We checked 98 hunters and only three were in breach of game season regulations. Police found no one in breach of the Arms Act. We found hunters were very polite and cooperative and their handling of firearms was impeccably safe.”

Mr Abernethy says that this adherence to safe firearms use was no surprise to him. “In our experience the duck hunting community is very responsible with a strong culture of safe and responsible use of firearms. We have also found over many years of liaising with hunters that committed hunters do not combine alcohol and hunting, and our experiences over the weekend bore that out.”

“Many of the hunters that we spoke to were pleased that Fish & Game and the Police were out and about in an effort to apprehend anyone hunting unlawfully, said Mr Abernethy. “Most hunters take a very responsible attitude and religiously observe both the game season regulations and Firearms laws and they don’t want to see their good reputation tarnished by the irresponsible actions of a few ‘bad apples’”.

ENDS

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