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DOC reminds hunters to play it safe this season

29 March 2018

DOC reminds hunters to play it safe this season

While hunters are looking forward to the upcoming deer breeding season, which starts late March, the Department of Conservation (DOC) is reminding them to play it safe.

Known as the ‘roar’ or ‘rut’, during breeding season male deer ‘roar’ to warn off rival stags making now until late April a good time to hunt.

DOC reminds hunters intending to hunt on public conservation land to be aware of their obligations and not compromise on safety – for their own sake as well as for all other park users.

DOC Kapiti Wellington Operations Manager Jack Mace says a recent incident in the Tarauas is a timely safety reminder.

“This week we heard of a hunter who carelessly discharged a firearm at night at a popular campsite. On a number of levels this was extremely risky and stupid. Luckily the campsite was empty at the time.

“Unfortunately, we received this report without sufficient details to identify and prosecute the offender, but in future our rangers won’t stand for this kind of stupidity. We will be checking hunting areas, talking to hunters and enforcing permit conditions.

“We will not hesitate to prosecute under our own powers or to involve the New Zealand Police if necessary.”

DOC also reminds hunters to adhere to the permit conditions and refrain from hunting in the hours of darkness or ‘spotlighting’. This practice is not permitted on public conservation land.

Hunters’ dogs may require a separate dog permit, and an avian-avoidance certificate issued from their local DOC office.

“Hunting with dogs is a great New Zealand pastime, but hunters should check if separate dog permits are required, and if so, carry them at all times,” Jack Mace says.

“I urge hunters to take the extra time to identify their target to ensure they - and everyone else in the hills - gets home safely.”

Other park users are encouraged to contact their local DOC office if they are concerned about any hunter’s behaviour.

Information on where to hunt on public conservation land, how to get a permit and safe hunting practice can be found on the DOC website:


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