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Safety advice as hunting season approaches

Safety advice as hunting season approaches

“Hunting season is approaching, and it is important hunters keep themselves and others safe”, says Acting Superintendent Mike McIlraith of New Zealand Police.

There's a significant increase in the number of hunting-related incidents and Search and Rescue operations at this time each year, with target misidentification being the biggest cause of fatalities.

Acting Superintendent McIlraith says the responsibility is always on the shooter to positively identify their target, saying “the consequences of failing to fully identify a target beyond all doubt are immediate, tragic and catastrophic”.

The Mountain Safety Council’s insights into hunting season shows that 92% of misidentified target incidents occur when the individuals involved are less than 75m apart.
Chief Executive Officer of Mountain Safety Council Mike Daisley says, “There is a general perception that the misidentified target incidents are across a valley, several hundred metres away, when in actuality they aren’t.”

Acting Superintendent McIlraith says, “Anyone who is planning to use a firearm is required to have a valid firearms licence and comply with the New Zealand Arms Code.
If you do not have a licence you must be with someone who does – and they in turn must supervise the unlicensed person closely.”

It's also important to take care in the outdoors – watch your footing, know your limits, and look out for each other.
Plan your trip, tell someone your plans, and take sufficient supplies including a personal locator beacon.

Outdoor and hunting safety information can be found on the Mountain Safety Council website, and hunters at all levels of experience are encouraged to check out this material.


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