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New Zealand

Mountain Safety Council


SUGGESTED Equipment for a day hunt

A  lcohol and drugs must never be taken before you go shooting or while you are shooting

Day pack

D  o not shoot with others who are, or have been, drinking alcohol or taking drugs

Water bottle

The Arms Code is available free from Police Stations or you can down load it from the NZ Police website at

Food for the day a bright coloured garment Warm hat Wet weather jacket Spare clothing Spare food Hunting knife

campsites clean and as undisturbed as possible. Carry out your rubbish. Bury human waste away from huts and campsites and avoid damaging any vegetation. Visit Respect other hunters and other land users. Be an ambassador for hunting by accommodating the needs of others who might be staying in the same hut or using the same hunting area.  hoot only the number of animals that you need and that S can be fully recovered and used. Look after your meat. Keep it cool and protect it from being spoilt or fly blown.


Map, Compass and GPS Torch or head light

Rifle and ammunition Rifle cleaning kit

Binoculars (optional) Emergency communications Spare ammunition to alert rescuers Emergency shelter FIRST AID KIT AND SURVIVAL KIT

Local clubs are a great place to meet experienced hunters who can pass on good hunting and firearms skills.

Hunting Ethics Apply standards, appropriate conduct and moral judgement when hunting.  pply the fair chase rule. Give game a fair chance A by ensuring the challenge of hunting is maintained. Demonstrate respect for the game animals and game birds. Kill animals humanely. Ensure your firearm is sighted in and take care when placing the shot in the kill zone.

Use an appropriate calibre for the target animal. Shooting at running game will lessen the chance of a clean kill. Make every effort to track wounded game to dispatch as soon as possible.  ispose of offal and carcasses in such a way as to D not cause offence to other land users or contaminate water ways.  btain permission from the landowner to enter and O hunt on private land or get a permit to hunt on land administered by a company or government department. When hunting on private land leave gates as they are found, avoid disturbing stock and cross fences so as not to cause any damage.  omply with game laws (e.g. bag limits), local laws C and rules. Know your hunting area and stay within the boundaries. It is unethical and against the law to trespass or poach game on some else’s land.  how respect for the land and Tāngata Whenua. Know S and apply the Environmental Care Code (DOC). Leave

The Hunter National Training Scheme (HUNTS) is delivered by the New Zealand Deerstalkers’ Association and is for new and existing hunters who wish to learn and up-skill, and who will be taught knowledge and skills to operate successfully and safely as a hunter in the New Zealand outdoors. Trainees will be taught the ethics of fair chase and the principles of managing a sustainable game resource. HUNTS trainees will also receive training in equipment, clothing, navigation, firearms and hunter safety, hunting techniques, processing game, photography, first aid and bushcraft. For more information about HUNTS visit New Zealand Deerstalkers’ Association website


Mountain Radio Contacts

Avalanche Safety

Plan to Survive

Firearms Safety

River Safety

Going Bush?


Going Hunting? Hypothermia L et It Breathe Camping appliance safety

MANUALS Abseiling Alpine Rescue Techniques

Outdoor Communications

Alpine Skills

Selecting a firearm

Avalanche Accidents



EQUIPMENT Avalanche Cards



Avalanche Rescue

NZ Firearm Handbook Outdoor First Aid Outdoor Safety

Chamber Safety Device MSC Packliner


MSC Pocket survival bag

On Target

MSC Safety Whistle

Outdoor Safety Code

MSC Survival Bag

River Safety

Order from:


 Z Clay Target Association N

 ish & Game NZ F

 Z Deerstalkers’ Association N


 Z Pistol Association N

Metvuw -

NZ Police -

 ational Incident Database N

NZ Shooting Federation

 ational Rifle Association of NZ N

 arget Shooting NZ T


New Zealand

Safer places, safer activities, safer people

Mountain Safety Council PO Box 6027 Wellington, 6141 Tel 04 385 7162, Fax 04 385 7366 Email: 12/15

Hunting IN NEW ZEALAND We are very fortunate in New Zealand to have such a rich hunting environment. We have a diverse variety of game species to hunt including seven species of deer, tahr, pigs and chamois, small game such as possums and rabbits and several game birds species such as duck, geese and pheasants. Hunting areas range from flat pastoral land, remote and dense native forest to high country mountain regions. New Zealand’s back country has its own inherent risks and therefore hunters need to show careful consideration, planning and preparation before heading away on any hunting trip.

Tell Someone If you got into trouble how would anyone know where to look for you? Leave your Outdoors Intentions (trip plan, time and date of departure and return) with a responsible person who can notify the Police if you are overdue. Visit to complete your outdoors intentions form.

Be Aware of the Weather  hat is the weather going to do? New Zealand’s weather W can be highly unpredictable. Check long range and short range weather forecasts and expect weather changes.  hat do I do in bad weather? Be aware of rivers in the W area, location of bridges and emergency escape routes should the weather turn bad.

Know your Limits Wear high visibility clothing that contrasts with the environment.

The Outdoor Safety Code for Hunting Plan your Trip  here are you going? You’ll need up-to-date information, W TOPO 50 maps and local knowledge on the area you are going to. Know where to find huts, shelters and good camping spots.  o you need permission OR permits for access and to D hunt? Organise permissions or permits well in advance (Landowners, Forest Managers or DOC).  hat animals are you hunting? Consider the species of W animals that you are hunting and select the appropriate calibre firearm and hunting equipment. Ensure all firearms are sighted in accurately.  now the Arms Code and comply with all parts of it K at all times.

 ho is in the hunting party? Check and ensure that W the members of your hunting party have the fitness, experience, and equipment to cope with the trip and any emergency. Challenge yourself within your own physical limits and experience.  e aware of tiredness when shooting especially during B duck shooting season. Late nights and early mornings can compromise safety when shooters are more likely to drop their guard.  e aware of buck fever (where emotions affect your B perception and judgement). It can lead to serious incidents. Know how to recognise the feeling and have a strategy to deal with it. Stop, take a deep breath and refocus on your job to positively identify your target beyond all doubt.

Take Sufficient Supplies

Emergency preparedness


When in an emergency situation, survival begins with good preparation and planning. Before you go, ask yourself what could go wrong? How can I prepare to reduce this possibility? What will I do if something does go wrong?

Each year in New Zealand, careless hunting incidents have resulted in injury and sometimes the death of a fellow hunter. The Arms Code is a firearms safety training manual. Its purpose is to reduce unwanted hunting tragedies by ensuring that rigourous procedures for firearms safety and security are maintained.

As well as taking sufficient supplies prepare mentally for when things go wrong. Learn the STAR model: Stop Take a deep breath, sit down and remain calm Think Look around you, listen and brainstorm options Assess Consider the options and their potential consequences Respond Respond to the best option to keep yourself alive or for your situation to improve. Also, in an emergency situation: Stay where you are and within easy access to water. Do not walk out of the immediate search area. Control your fear and anxiety. Stay calm and look after your mental well being. Control your determinations. (‘Do or Die’ or ‘Get-home-it is’) Maintain your will to survive. Do not give up. Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration and keep your mind from deteriorating. Conserve your energy.

Ensure all members are equally prepared.  ake an appropriate means of communication T Mountain Radio or Personal Locator Beacon

The seven basic rules of firearms safety 1. TREAT EVERY FIREARM AS LOADED Do not take anyone’s word that a firearm is unloaded Check the firearm yourself  nly pass or accept a firearm that has the muzzle pointed O in a safe direction; the action is open; and is not loaded


Find or build shelter, light a fire and stay warm.

A safe direction will depend on where you are Never point a firearm at any one else including yourself

Hunter & Firearms

 hat will you need to take? Ensure you have appropriate W clothing, food, equipment and communications for the type of environment you are hunting in. Make a list and check each item off. For assistance see the MSC “Bushcraft Manual” and the MSC “Going Bush” pamphlet.  ow long are you going for? Take adequate supplies for H the duration of your trip including extra clothing, food and water for emergency situations.

All hunters must know the Arms Code and in particular all parts of the seven basic rules of firearms safety off by heart.

Help searchers find you, leave signs, be visible and use your rifle and whistle wisely to alert searchers. Survival is keeping yourself alive until your situation improves or searchers find you. Follow these principles and your chances of survival will greatly increase.

 lways be particularly careful when placing firearms in, or A removing them from vehicles, boats or storage

3. LOAD A FIREARM ONLY WHEN READY TO FIRE Only load your magazine when you reach your shooting area Do not load the chamber until you are ready to shoot Unload the chamber if game gets away Unload the firearm completely (magazine and chamber) before leaving the shooting area

4. IDENTIFY YOUR TARGET BEYOND ALL DOUBT Always, identify your target beyond all doubt.

Never climb a fence while carrying a firearm. If you are on your own, unload the firearm and place it muzzle first, through the fence. Lay the firearm on the ground, and then climb over the fence.

Identify your target beyond all doubt. If you hear sound or see movement, colour or shape in the bush, immediately assume it to be another human until you prove otherwise.  ake time to confirm the identification of your target T

animal. Do not be impatient. Sight the whole animal or at least sufficient of it to be absolutely certain it is the target animal. Stop hunting if you lose sight of your mate. Wait until you are back together again before carrying on hunting. Identify your target with your eyes (binocular vision) not just the rifle scope. The scope is for placing the shot.  Wear a brightly coloured garment that contrasts with the environment. When carrying an animal carcass, cover it with a bightly coloured garment or cloth.

5. CHECK YOUR FIRING ZONE  e aware of what you could hit in the area between you B and your target, and in the area beyond Never fire when companions are ahead of you It is unsafe to shoot at a target on the skyline  se extra care when shooting at a moving target as your U firing zone can change quickly Ricochets can be caused by flat or hard surfaces like rocks, snow, water or trees

6. STORE FIREARMS AND AMMUNITION SAFELY A firearm must not be stored where a child has ready access to it  mmunition must be stored separately or the firearm A made incapable of firing Firearms must be stored in a locked place to secure against theft Never leave a firearm in a vehicle that is unattended

Profile for New Zealand Mountain Safety Council

GHP - Going Hunting Pamphlet  

GHP - Going Hunting Pamphlet