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OUTDOOR RECREATION RECREATION ACTIVITY ACTIVITY GUIDES GUIDES OUTDOOR

HUNTING

Know before you go The New Zealand outdoors offers fantastic hunting opportunities, and all generations can enjoy hunting for food, pest control and trophies. Anyone who intends to go hunting with a firearm must know and follow the Arms Code and the seven basic rules of firearms safety. This guide will help you understand, remember and apply basic safety rules so you can hunt safely in the outdoors.

FIREARMS SAFETY RULES

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1. Treat every firearm as loaded

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2. Always point firearms in a safe direction

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3. Load a firearm only when ready to fire

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4. Identify your target beyond all doubt

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5. Check your firing zone

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6. Store firearms and ammunition safely

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7. Avoid alcohol or drugs when handling firearms

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At the back of this guide is: • The Outdoor Safety Code

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• The Before You Go Hunting and While You’re Hunting Checklists

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Safer places, safer activities, safer people


Kuran Ireland - Fiordland

1 TREAT EVERY FIREARM AS LOADED Make your hunting trip safer for you and everyone around you by always handling any firearm as if it were loaded. Don’t take someone else’s word that your firearm is unloaded – check it yourself.

Jim’s story

DID YOU KNOW?

The other day I went out for a hunt with my mate Kurt. While unloading the ute he passed me his rifle, so I asked if it was loaded. He responded with the usual “Nah bro, it’s all good”, but I checked anyway.

On average, eight people per year are seriously injured or killed as a result of the accidental discharge of a firearm.

During the morning we got onto a few animals but never got a clear shot at anything. Later on, as we were heading back, Kurt was about to pass me his rifle before we crossed a fence. I asked him again if his rife was loaded and he replied with the normal “Nah bro.” But as he pulled the bolt back to check, he ejected a live round!

“As he pulled the bolt back to check, he ejected a live round!”

We didn’t say much about it at the time but I think it shook us both up a bit. Kurt and I have been hunting together for years and nothing like this had ever happened before. I guess it made me realise that every so often people can still make mistakes that could have huge consequences. I’m now extra cautious to always treat my firearm as loaded. It never hurts to check, no matter how sure you are that the firearm is empty.

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Treat every firearm as loaded

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Always point firearms in a safe direction

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Load a firearm only when ready to fire

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Identify your target beyond all doubt

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Check your firing zone

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Store firearms and ammunition safely

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Avoid alcohol or drugs when handling firearms

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OUTDOOR RECREATION ACTIVITY GUIDES HUNTING


Remember

Only accept or pass a firearm with: • your hands holding the firearm away from the trigger • the muzzle pointed in a safe direction • the action open • the firearm unloaded.

✘ Don’t try to open a firearm if you’re not sure how to do so correctly – ask someone who knows to show you.

✘ Never check that a firearm is loaded by:

Always look to check the safety status of your firearm. If you can’t see into the chamber or the magazine, use a finger to check that it’s clear.

• looking down its barrel • pointing the firearm into the sky and pulling the trigger

A chamber safety device helps you safely check that your firearm is unloaded. Order one through the Mountain Safety Council online shop.

• testing the action • banging the firearm on the ground.

Understand how your firearm works before you want to use it – whether it’s your own or a borrowed one. Talk to the person you are getting it from, a gunsmith or your local firearms officer about the firearm. Learn about the safety catch, the type of action and how many rounds it holds in the magazine. TOP TIP There’s no shame in asking your mates to check whether their firearm is loaded – asking can’t hurt; a loaded firearm can.

Rule #1 Watch the video

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Treat every firearm as loaded

2

Always point firearms in a safe direction

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Load a firearm only when ready to fire

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Identify your target beyond all doubt

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Check your firing zone

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Store firearms and ammunition safely

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Avoid alcohol or drugs when handling firearms

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OUTDOOR RECREATION ACTIVITY GUIDES HUNTING


Jono Groters - Fiordland

2 Always point firearms in a safe direction

When you are carrying a firearm, concentrate on carrying it safely. Always carry your firearm with the bolt or action closed and the chamber empty. You should always check around you to make sure you are pointing your firearm in a safe direction – whether it is loaded or unloaded.

Tom’s story I was out tahr hunting last winter with my good mate Sean. We met at uni and we’d only done a handful of day trips together before this overnight trip.

DID YOU KNOW? Between 2009 and 2015 there were 48 people killed or seriously injured as a result of an accidental discharge of a firearm.

On day two we spotted a couple of bulls in a basin at the head of the valley. Sean was following me up a steep face and I noticed a couple of times when I turned around he was pointing his rifle at my back. This made me feel uncomfortable but I didn’t say anything at the time. As we climbed higher, I noticed his muzzle control was getting worse and worse. Eventually I lost my temper and yelled at him. He apologised right away, and he was much better for the rest of the trip.

“When I turned around he was pointing his rifle at my back.”

The incident stuck in my mind and it later occurred to me that outside of his firearms training he had probably never had anyone to show him the right way to carry his gun on a hill. I wish now that I had approached it differently and told him much sooner in a more constructive way, rather than waiting until I was mad enough to yell at him.

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Treat every firearm as loaded

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Always point firearms in a safe direction

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Load a firearm only when ready to fire

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Identify your target beyond all doubt

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Check your firing zone

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Store firearms and ammunition safely

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Avoid alcohol or drugs when handling firearms

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OUTDOOR RECREATION ACTIVITY GUIDES HUNTING


Remember Be especially careful to check where the muzzle is pointing when you take firearms in or out of vehicles, boats or storage as they might go off while you’re moving them; this includes when the firearm is in a gun bag. Always be mindful to control your muzzle direction when traveling with others, especially when walking together, in single file or on uneven or steep terrain.

control the muzzle

Crossing fences

Constantly ask yourself what the safest direction is to point your firearm:

If there is an unlocked gate – use it! But if there isn’t a gate to walk through, follow these rules to cross a fence safely with your firearms:

• Where are all the members of my party?

• Are there non-hunters in the area? • What’s the terrain like? In a river bed, pointing the muzzle down may not be the safest thing to do since bullets can ricochet off lots of different obstacles: river rocks, logs – even water. Pointing the muzzle up or carrying on your back may not be a safe thing to do if you’re climbing with someone above you. It’s easy to stumble on rough terrain. That’s why it’s important to never move with a loaded firearm and always keep your fingers away from the trigger.

Crossing rivers safely Avoid jumping across or hopping from rock to rock when carrying a gun across a waterway such as a river or stream – it’s too easy to slip. Take the plunge and walk carefully through the water instead.

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Treat every firearm as loaded

2

Always point firearms in a safe direction

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If you are with another hunter, have one person climb over the fence without a firearm. Then, pass the unloaded firearms across, making sure that the actions are open and the muzzles are pointing in a safe direction.

If you are on your own, unload your firearm, pass it through the fence muzzle first and lie it on the ground on the other side. Then climb over the fence.

Take special care when crossing electric fences. Have your firearm unloaded and the action open before you get near an electric fence. An electric shock can make your muscles contract and your hand could clench shut around the trigger.

Load a firearm only when ready to fire

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Identify your target beyond all doubt

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Check your firing zone

✘ Never point a firearm at

anyone, including yourself.

✘ Never lean your firearms

against a vehicle or wall or anywhere it could move and accidentally go off.

✘ NEVER climb a fence while carrying a firearm.

Rule #2 Watch the video

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Store firearms and ammunition safely

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Avoid alcohol or drugs when handling firearms

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OUTDOOR RECREATION ACTIVITY GUIDES HUNTING


Ben Tumata - South Westland

3 Load a firearm only when ready to fire

Only load your firearm when you plan to use it, and only load it in a place where you can fire it safely and legally.

Pete’s story

DID YOU KNOW?

Me and my little brother Sam just got our firearms licences, so my uncle said we could both go goat shooting on his farm during the holidays.

Every year New Zealand hunters are killed or seriously injured as a result of moving with or crossing fences with a loaded firearm.

Sam and I snuck up on a big mob and when we popped over the ridge we were close to them. We both got one each but they ran off before we could get another shot. Sam and I got up and ran down the hill after them. We were very excited, and as we were running, Sam tripped and fell over. As he fell, his gun fired, and the bullet went whizzing right past me.

“He was so excited he forgot to take the bullet out again.”

Sam said afterwards that he had reloaded to shoot again, but the goat disappeared before he could shoot it. He was so excited he forgot to take the bullet out again when we started to run. It was pretty scary, but we never told my uncle about it because we knew we would get in trouble. We always remember to check our guns before we get up to move now. It still scares me to think about what would have happened if that bullet had hit me.

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Treat every firearm as loaded

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Always point firearms in a safe direction

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Load a firearm only when ready to fire

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Identify your target beyond all doubt

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Check your firing zone

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Store firearms and ammunition safely

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Avoid alcohol or drugs when handling firearms

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OUTDOOR RECREATION ACTIVITY GUIDES HUNTING


Remember

• Make sure there is nothing blocking the barrel of your firearm before you fire. • Unload the chamber if your target gets away. Never move with a loaded

✘ After a shot, check again

that your firearm is unloaded before moving on, and check that those around you have done the same.

firearm.

Always unload completely before leaving a shooting area and before entering a hut or camp.

✘ Never stalk an animal with a

• Only move with the bolt or action closed on an empty chamber. • If your firearm misfires, you must check the barrel, from the breech end, in

loaded firearm.

case a bullet is stuck in it.

Never rely on or trust your safety catch. No matter how good your firearm is, its safety catch can be damaged over time and may stop working properly.

The law It is illegal to:

• carry a loaded magazine or firearm in your vehicle on a public road • shoot from a public road • carry a loaded firearm in, or shoot from, a vehicle on public roads or places where the public have a right of access

shoot during the hours of darkness in any conservation land, forest park or national park.

Rule #3 Watch the video

For more information, refer to the New Zealand Arms Code.

TOP TIP Cover the muzzle of your firearm with a small square of insulation tape or masking tape to stop blockages from objects like dirt, snow or moisture.

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Treat every firearm as loaded

2

Always point firearms in a safe direction

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Load a firearm only when ready to fire

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Identify your target beyond all doubt

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Check your firing zone

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Store firearms and ammunition safely

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Avoid alcohol or drugs when handling firearms

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OUTDOOR RECREATION ACTIVITY GUIDES HUNTING


4 Identify your target beyond all doubt

ALWAYS fully identify your target before you shoot – if in doubt, don’t shoot. Don’t shoot unless you have a clear and unobstructed view of your target. Always make yourself more easily identified by wearing bright colours that contrast with the environment.

Sam’s story Last roar I was in the Ruahines hunting with my old-time hunting mate Barry. We had been hunting together in the area for nearly 40 years and we knew it really well.

DID YOU KNOW? On average two people a year are seriously injured or killed by other hunters mistaking them for a deer.

We split up and slowly worked our way up separate ridges, roaring as we went. I got a good response from what sounded like a good stag at the head of the valley so I sat down and continued to roar. It wasn’t long before the stag started to come down and I caught a glimpse of him moving through a thick patch of bush. I chambered a round and concentrated on an opening close to where the stag disappeared. I gave another quick roar and straight away I heard sticks breaking and saw the bush moving as the stag started to come out. Just as I was about to fire, Barry gave a whistle. The movement I had seen was him in the exact same spot I was expecting to see the stag pop out.

“I came so close to shooting my best mate.”

I never thought this would happen to me. I came so close to shooting my best mate. It took a while for me to stop shaking. Barry and I still hunt together, but now we never separate - it’s just not worth it.

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Treat every firearm as loaded

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Always point firearms in a safe direction

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Load a firearm only when ready to fire

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Identify your target beyond all doubt

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Check your firing zone

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Store firearms and ammunition safely

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Avoid alcohol or drugs when handling firearms

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OUTDOOR RECREATION ACTIVITY GUIDES HUNTING


Remember

✘ Don’t use a rifle scope to

You are never the only person out there

identify your target. The scope will cut down your field of vision. Use binoculars or a spotting scope instead.

Lots of people recreate at different times and in different ways in New Zealand’s outdoors. Treat anything that moves as human until you’re certain it’s not. If you are hunting with a mate, NEVER shoot unless you’re in clear visual and verbal contact with them. If you lose sight of your hunting partner, stop hunting until you have relocated them. If you are supervising an unlicensed shooter, both you and the shooter must positively identify the shooter’s target before the shooter fires, and legally there can only be one firearm present.

Take a closer look

You think you have a target?

Be aware of your own mentality, fitness and excitement level. Your mind can convince itself that the target is what you want it to be, and be aware that complacency can creep in with experience. Make sure you go hunting with a clear head, intent on fully identifying your target beyond all doubt. As a responsible hunter, you should be prepared to let some animals walk if you can’t fully identify them in the field. New Zealand hunters have a responsibility to look after themselves, their mates and all other hunters.

Rule #4 Watch the video TOP TIP Wear clothing that contrasts to your environment. Read further about this on page 15.

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1

2 3 4 5

Stag?

Shape

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10 11

8 7

where are your hunting partners?

Is it a person?

Is it a person?

Antler points?

Colour

target identified beyond all doubt

hind?

Check your firing zone

Take a closer look

Check again

Spiker?

Noise

prepare to take aim

Species?

Fawn?

Person?

Movement

Use your eyes or binoculars. Keep your finger away from the trigger and stay calm.

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Treat every firearm as loaded

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Always point firearms in a safe direction

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Load a firearm only when ready to fire

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Identify your target beyond all doubt

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Check your firing zone

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Store firearms and ammunition safely

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Avoid alcohol or drugs when handling firearms

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OUTDOOR RECREATION ACTIVITY GUIDES HUNTING


Central Otago

5 Check your firing zone Be aware of what could be in the area between you and your target, and in the area beyond your target.

Susan’s story My name is Susan, and we recently built a house on a lifestyle block out in the country. Soon after moving in, I realised I would need to get a firearms license and rifle to control the rabbits that have taken a liking to my vegie patch.

DID YOU KNOW? Projectiles can travel several kilometres beyond an intended target and inflict serious injury or death.

Early one morning, as I was getting ready for work, I spotted a rabbit on the back lawn. Quietly, I snuck out the front door and around the side of the house with my .22 rifle at the ready. I carefully lined up the rabbit through the scope and was about to pull the trigger when someone yelled out, “Hey, what are you doing!” I looked up and saw my neighbour Barbara leading her horse into her back paddock. She was directly beyond where I was aiming my firearm, but I hadn’t even seen her. From her perspective, it must have looked like I was pointing my gun right at her!

“I was about to pull the trigger when someone yelled out.”

I realised right away that I had broken one of the seven basic rules of firearm safety - always check your firing zone. It was a real wake up call for me, and I am much more aware of everything else around me now when using my firearm.

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Treat every firearm as loaded

2

Always point firearms in a safe direction

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Load a firearm only when ready to fire

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Identify your target beyond all doubt

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Check your firing zone

6

Store firearms and ammunition safely

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Avoid alcohol or drugs when handling firearms

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OUTDOOR RECREATION ACTIVITY GUIDES HUNTING


Remember

✘ NEVER shoot when farm stock,

THINK:

other people or buildings could be close by.

• What might happen if I missed my target? Where will my bullet end up? • What is between me and my target? What might I hit in front of my target or past my target?

✘ NEVER shoot at a target on the skyline – farm stock, another person or a building might be just on the other side.

• When shooting a moving target, where will my barrel swing too? What could potentially end up in my firing line?

Hunting in thick bush Be careful when you are hunting in thick bush or scrub - you may not be able to see your whole firing zone, especially when hunting with a spotlight.

Moving targets Be especially careful when shooting at a moving target – your target could move behind a person or a person could move into your firing zone without you realising. It’s also harder to get a clean shot when your target is moving.

TOP TIP

Rule #5 Watch the video

You are responsible for the bullet from the moment you place it in the magazine until the moment it comes to rest after firing, no excuses.

Bullets can go through bushes, walls and glass, and they can ricochet off solid objects like rocks and trees.

Calibre trajectories .308

4500m

.22

1500m

Shotgun

250-750m

Air Rifle

400m+ = 1 rugby pitch

Projectiles remain potentially lethal at great distances.

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Treat every firearm as loaded

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Always point firearms in a safe direction

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Load a firearm only when ready to fire

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Identify your target beyond all doubt

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Check your firing zone

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Store firearms and ammunition safely

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Avoid alcohol or drugs when handling firearms

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OUTDOOR RECREATION ACTIVITY GUIDES HUNTING


6 Store firearms and ammunition safely

You are required by law to have a safe and secure place to store your firearms and ammunition, you are also required to notify the Police of a change of address.

John’s story

DID YOU KNOW?

Last week, when I got home from work, I caught my 9-year-old son James and one of his friends from school playing with my hunting rifle in the garage. I got really mad at James - he should know better than to play with firearms, and he knows he isn’t allowed to touch my firearms when I am not around.

The majority of accidental firearms deaths and injuries involving children are a result of a firearm not being stored correctly.

Later that night, I realised that it was me who had put James at risk. My rifle should’ve been locked away securely, and the ammunition and bolt should’ve been put away in another separate locked box. There should have been no way that the kids could get their hands on my rifle. That kind of situation has ended in tragedy before, and I would’ve been the one held accountable.

“I would’ve been the one held accountable.”

My firearms are all locked away now, and I’ve started to teach James about gun safety. It’s important that he understands the rules around firearms, knows that they’re not toys and learns to handle them with respect.

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Treat every firearm as loaded

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Always point firearms in a safe direction

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Load a firearm only when ready to fire

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Identify your target beyond all doubt

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Check your firing zone

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Store firearms and ammunition safely

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Avoid alcohol or drugs when handling firearms

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OUTDOOR RECREATION ACTIVITY GUIDES HUNTING


Remember

At home

✘ NEVER leave a firearm where a child can get it.

Firearm safety is just as important at home as it is in the outdoors. You must store all firearms and ammunition:

✘ NEVER store a firearm in a

• out of view • out of the reach of children • separate from each other – or the firearm must be made incapable of firing • in a safe, locked room, rack or cabinet that is strong enough to stop a child or

cupboard, wardrobe or gun case with a simple lock on the door – this is not secure enough.

opportunistic thief and has been approved by your Arms Officer.

TOP TIP

Teach children in your household:

Whenever it comes time to store your firearm, wherever you are, ask yourself – is my firearm out of the reach of children and securely locked away?

• what a firearm is designed to do • why it must not be touched without an adult present • to tell an adult immediately if they find a firearm. Teach all children that firearms are not toys.

In the outdoors Some back country huts are now being fitted with a cabinet to hold firearms securely, but many still have nothing. It is easy to carry a simple cable lock, trigger lock or cable and padlock when you go hunting to secure your firearm in any hut or camp you stay at.

KEEP Ammunition AND FIREARMS SEPARATE Always store ammunition separate from firearms.

• remove the bolt and magazine and lock them in a different place from the firearm

make sure both the chamber and the magazine are empty.

For lever, pump or semi-automatic firearms, you may not be able to remove the action. Use a trigger-locking device for a firearm that cannot be taken apart.

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Treat every firearm as loaded

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Always point firearms in a safe direction

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Load a firearm only when ready to fire

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Identify your target beyond all doubt

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Check your firing zone

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Store firearms and ammunition safely

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Avoid alcohol or drugs when handling firearms

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OUTDOOR RECREATION ACTIVITY GUIDES HUNTING


7 Avoid alcohol or drugs

when handling firearms

You must be thinking clearly and sharply whenever you handle a firearm. Alcohol and some drugs (even if prescribed) can dull and slow your mental and physical reactions.

DID YOU KNOW?

Tim’s story

On average there are two people killed or seriously injured every year while duck shooting in New Zealand. The vast majority of incidents occurr each year on opening weekend.

Every year my mates and I hunt together on opening morning of duck shooting season. We’ve been hunting that weekend for years and its often the only time during the year we all get to spend time together. For that reason, it often gets a little bit out of hand - for years we have taken alcohol into the maimai with us. In the back of my mind, I always knew that drinking booze and handling loaded shotguns was a dangerous and unlawful combination, but because nobody else said anything I kept my concerns to myself.

“Unfortunately, the blast hit me directly in the foot.”

Last May was no different, and we had all been drinking since daylight. It was mid-morning and one of the boys forgot to unload his shotgun - he stood up next to me and his gun went off. Unfortunately, the blast hit me directly in the foot. It’s been over a year, and after multiple surgeries, a lot of pain and some extensive rehab, I’m back at work. Hindsight doesn’t help much, but I wish now that I had said something when I had the chance.

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Treat every firearm as loaded

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Always point firearms in a safe direction

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Load a firearm only when ready to fire

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Identify your target beyond all doubt

5

Check your firing zone

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Store firearms and ammunition safely

7

Avoid alcohol or drugs when handling firearms

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OUTDOOR RECREATION ACTIVITY GUIDES HUNTING


Remember

✘ NEVER take alcohol or drugs

You would’t drink and drive, so why would shooting be different?

before or while hunting.

✘ NEVER hunt with mates who

To keep yourself and your hunting party safe, you should only relax and celebrate the hunt once you’ve finished using your firearm and it’s securely stored away.

are, or have been recently, taking alcohol or drugs.

If you are taking prescription or over the counter drugs, check the label on the packet. If it recommends that users don’t operate machinery, then you shouldn’t use firearms either – a firearm is no less dangerous than a vehicle or digger. If you notice other hunters are taking alcohol or drugs just before or while they are hunting, urge them to stop hunting until they’ve had time to sleep off the effects. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, you can report them to the police.

Is it worth the risk?

Rule #6 and 7 Watch the video TOP TIP If you are a duck shooter sharing a maimai with others, you can drive vertical poles into the ground to prevent an ‘overswing’ endangering a companion.

Alcohol and firearms do not mix. For more information: www.mountainsafety.org.nz

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Treat every firearm as loaded

2

Always point firearms in a safe direction

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Load a firearm only when ready to fire

4

Identify your target beyond all doubt

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Check your firing zone

6

Store firearms and ammunition safely

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Avoid alcohol or drugs when handling firearms

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OUTDOOR RECREATION ACTIVITY GUIDES HUNTING


make it home Dress your best

minimum CALIBRE GUIDE

Wear colours that stand out in the environment around you and that look different from any game animals that might be in the area. This can help others to identify you as a human.

Cover any animal carcass you’re carrying with a brightly coloured piece of clothing or cloth.

Shooting at night Only hunt at night if:

• it is legal to do so • you are sure it is safe to do so • you are totally confident that you can fully identify your target in the dark and that you are 100% aware of your firing zone.

It is forbidden to shoot during the hours of darkness in any conservation land, forest park or national park.

Small game

Mid-size game

colour will be easy to see under all light and weather conditions.

e.g. rabbit, possum, hare

e.g. goat, wallaby, small deer, chamois

Large game

• Take a range of different coloured clothes with you on your trip. No single

e.g. large deer, pig, tahr

Game birds

Keep yourself safe in the outdoors by dressing to be seen.

e.g. duck, pheasant, goose

.22, shotgun, .177

.222, .223, 22-250, .243

.303, .308, .270, 30-06, 30-30, 7mm, 8mm

Shotgun: 12ga, 20ga, .410

From the MSC ‘Selecting a Firearm’ pamphlet

Shoot humanely • Ensure your firearm is sighted in and place your shot with care. • Use an appropriate calibre firearm for the animal you are hunting. • Make every effort to track wounded game to dispatch as soon as possible.

DID YOU KNOW? Since 2009, close to 40% of all hunting injuries or fatalities involving firearms occured at night.

15 OUTDOOR RECREATION ACTIVITY GUIDES HUNTING


CODE The Outdoor Safety

As well as following the Arms Code’s seven basic rules of firearm safety, it’s important to prepare well for any hunting trip so that you and your hunting mates can have a safe and enjoyable experience.

Plan your hunting trip • Where are you going? You’ll need up-to-date information, TOPO 50 maps, Walking Access Mapping System and local knowledge on the area you are going to. Know where to find huts, shelters and good camping spots.

Do you need permission or permits to go across and to hunt in a particular area? Organise permissions or permits well in advance - from the landowners, forest managers or Department of Conservation.

Who are you going with? Make sure you are aware of the hunting skills, fitness levels and health of everyone in your party. Does everyone in the party have the same goals for the trip? Are you all on the same page?

What animals are you hunting? Consider the species of animals that you are hunting and select the appropriate calibre firearm and hunting equipment. Ensure all firearms are sighted in accurately.

Know the Arms Code and follow all sections of the code at all times.

Tell someone your plans • 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. You can complete an Outdoors Intentions Form.

Identify your trusted contact

Tell them your plans: What are you doing Where are you going

Have a great hunt

Let your trusted contact know when you have returned

Who is going with you Your transport there When you will be back 16 OUTDOOR RECREATION ACTIVITY GUIDES HUNTING


Be aware of the weather • What is the weather going to do? New Zealand’s weather can be highly changeable. Check long-range and short-range weather forecasts and expect weather changes at any time.

What will you do in bad weather? Be aware of rivers in the area and the location of bridges and emergency escape routes should the weather turn bad. Do you have an alternative plan if the weather changes for the worse? Does everyone in your party know and feel comfortable with this plan? A good place to check long range mountain forecasts is the MetService website.

DID YOU KNOW? Between mid 2007 and the end of 2015, 37 people died while hunting in New Zealand. Only half of those deaths invovled a firearm.

Know your limits • Who is in your hunting party? Check and ensure that 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.

Be aware of tiredness and fatigue when hunting – late nights and early mornings can compromise safety as hunters are more likely to make mistakes when they are tired.

Keep communicating well with all members of your party and stay alert to any changes in your surroundings, weather conditions and fatigue as the day progresses.

Be aware of ‘buck fever’ (where emotions and excitement levels affect your 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 fully identify your target beyond all doubt.

Understand the environment you will be hunting in. For example, tahr are often found in steep alpine terrain that can potentially be dangerous, especially during the winter time; deer often live in dense bush where you could become disorientated.

17 OUTDOOR RECREATION ACTIVITY GUIDES HUNTING


Take sufficient supplies • What will you need to take? Ensure you have appropriate clothing,

OUTDOOR RECREATION ACTIVITY GUIDES

food, equipment and communication options for the type of environment you are hunting in. Make a list of what you will need to survive on the trip and check off each item as you pack. Find out more in our Multiday Tramping guide.

• • • •

How long are you going for? Take adequate supplies for the length of your trip, including extra clothing, food and water for emergency situations. Make sure all members of your party are equally prepared.

MULTIDAY TRAMPING KNOW BEFORE YOU GO Multiday tramping can take you into the heart of New Zealand’s great outdoors, where you’ll experience some of the country’s best scenery. It’s a great way to share an adventure with friends and family. It doesn’t take long to plan a tramp. This guide is intended to help people with some tramping experience who want to extend their skills and knowledge.

The Outdoor Safety CODE Page

Take an appropriate form of communication – for example, a mountain radio or personal locator beacon (PLB).

1. Plan your trip

1

2. Tell someone your plans

4

3. Be aware of the weather

6

Be prepared for all possible weather conditions and have enough equipment and supplies with you at all times to safely spend the night out if you have to – you never know when things might not go to plan or the weather might change.

5. Take sufficient supplies

Look out for your mates When you’re hunting in a group, check in with your mates regularly.

• Tell everyone any time you change the safety condition of your firearm – from safety mode to loaded and ready to fire and back to safety mode again.

• •

Make sure you know where everyone in your group is at all times.

Use a ‘buddy check’ system to talk with your hunting companions and reduce the chance of accidents.

4. Know your limits

8 10

At the back of this guide is: • The Outdoors Intentions Form • The While You’re Tramping Checklist

SAFER PLACES, SAFER ACTIVITIES, SAFER PEOPLE

TOP TIP When you are hunting with others, take a communication device and have agreed times when you will check on each other. This can make it easier to find each other if you get separated.

If you lose sight of people from your group, stop hunting and wait until everyone is back together again to form a new plan.

18 OUTDOOR RECREATION ACTIVITY GUIDES HUNTING


before you go hunting checklist Know and follow the seven basic rules of firearm safety from the Arms Code: 1. Treat every firearm as loaded. 2. Always point firearms in a safe direction. 3. Load a firearm only when ready to fire. 4. Identify your target beyond all doubt. 5. Check your firing zone. 6. Store firearms and ammunition safely. 7. Avoid alcohol or drugs when handling firearms. Research the area you want to hunt in and your target animal before you head off on any hunting trip. What weather can you expect at that time of year?

Only go hunting when you are fit and healthy. You need to be physically and mentally sharp and able to control your firearm safely at all times when you’re in the outdoors.

It’s also important to have good eyesight to be able to identify your target beyond all doubt and shoot accurately. Even colour blindness can cause problems, so if you have any doubts about your vision, visit an eye specialist. Low light conditions can further amplify eyesight problems – be aware of your own limitations.

Learn basic outdoor first aid skills. You may injure yourself or be the first to arrive at an accident, so you need to be prepared. Knowing what to do in an emergency situation could prevent further injuries and possibly save a life

Get the landowner’s permission to enter and hunt on private land, or get a permit to hunt on land administered by a company or government department.

Have your firearm checked regularly by a gunsmith who knows about the firearm you own.

WHILE YOU’RE hunting checklist Show respect for the land and the tāngata whenua. Know and apply the seven Leave No Trace principles.

Respect other hunters and land users. Be an ambassador for hunting by respecting the needs of others who might be staying in the same hut or using the same area.

Look after your meat. Keep it cool and protect it from being spoilt or fly blown.

When hunting on private land, don’t disturb stock, leave gates as you find them and cross fences carefully so that you don’t damage them.

Be respectful of the animal and the unique hunting resources we have in New Zealand.

19 OUTDOOR RECREATION ACTIVITY GUIDES HUNTING


Useful websites For more information about hunting safety in the outdoors, check out the following websites: AdventureSmart www.adventuresmart.org.nz Big Game Hunting New Zealand www.bghnz.co.nz Department of Conservation www.doc.govt.nz Fish and Game New Zealand www.fishandgame.org.nz Land Information New Zealand www.linz.govt.nz Leave No Trace www.leavenotrace.org.nz MetService www.metservice.co.nz New Zealand Deerstalkers’ Association www.deerstalkers.org.nz New Zealand Mountain Safety Council www.mountainsafety.org.nz New Zealand Police www.police.govt.nz New Zealand Professional Hunting Guides Association www.nzphga.com New Zealand Shooting Federation www.nzshootingfed.org.nz New Zealand Walking Access Commission www.walkingaccess.govt.nz

All hunters should fully understand and follow all sections of the Arms Code at all times This resource is intended to help people enjoy and be challenged safely in the outdoors. However, individuals must take responsibility for their own safety to ensure safe participation in the outdoors. Published by: New Zealand Mountain Safety Council www.mountainsafety.org.nz Enquiries: info@mountainsafety.org.nz © 2016 New Zealand Mountain Safety Council Photos: NZ Mountain Safety Council, Matthew Gibson, Ben Tumata and Yap Zhi Yuen. ISBN: 978-0-908931-36-1

Stay connected via our Hunting Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/NZMSCHunting

We would like to thank the following partners for their support and involvement in producing this resource:

Hunting activity guide  

The New Zealand outdoors offers fantastic hunting opportunities, and all generations can enjoy hunting for food, pest control and trophies....

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