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2017

A hunter’s tale A deep dive into hunting incidents in New Zealand

NZ Hunting Insights developed by the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council - 2017

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Produced by the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council


Est. 1965

The New Zealand Mountain Safety Council The New Zealand Mountain Safety Council (MSC) is a national organisation with a mandate to encourage safe participation in land-based outdoor activities. It does this through the development and promotion of safety messaging, by identifying and responding to insights provided by the ongoing collection and analysis of data, and by building partnerships with relevant organisations.

Safer places, safer activities, safer people.

Insights

Organisational Excellence

messaging

partnerships

From the Chief Executive

’A Hunters Tale’ represents the first of a series of more comprehensive analysis of the five activities and five hotspots covered in ‘There and Back’, the nation’s first analysis of what’s going wrong in the New Zealand outdoors. Our intention is that this document will form the reference point for all those involved in the Firearms and Hunting sector. It forms the evidence-base to lead many conversations with our partners to identify and suppress the key issues. We acknowledge that some of the insights in this document will challenge historical opinions. Please head to the methodology section for more detail on our research process. We share the confidence of our data partners that evidence based decisions will lead to safer outcomes for recreational hunters. Establishing this robust evidence base was a direct result of strong partnerships. We thank our partners Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC), NZ Search and Rescue Council (NZSAR), Ministry of Justice – Coronial Services Unit, Sport NZ, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), Department of Conservation (DOC), Tourism NZ, New Zealand Police, National Coronial Information System (NCIS), and New Zealand Fish and Game for their provision of data and analytical support. Equally strong partnerships will be required as we lead the work with the sector to better understand causal factors. Then, again with our partners, we can focus our collective efforts to identify what can be done to reduce incidents for recreational hunters.

Mike Daisley CEO

New Zealand Mountain Safety Council

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Published by the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council, 2017


Contents

Page

Introduction

4-5

Participation

6-11

Who?

6

When?

8-9

Where?

10-11

Incidents

12-21

Where?

12-13

Who?

14-16

Fatalities

17

Injuries

18-21

Hunting types

23-37

Big game hunting

24-27

Game bird hunting

28-29

Pig hunting

30-31

Alpine hunting

32-33

Small game hunting

34-35

Night hunting

36-37

Isolating Firearms incidents Non-intentional firearms incidents Non-intentional firearms fatalities

38 40-41 42

Misidentification fatalities

43-47

Summary and key insights

48-51

Methodology

52-57

NZ Hunting Insights developed by the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council - 2017

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195,098 hunters participating in new Zealand each year

166,675

New Zealanders

28,423

International visitors

4

Photo: Jono Groters


Introduction

Following ‘There and Back’ Following the recent publication of There and Back - an exploration of outdoor recreation incidents in New Zealand, the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council (MSC) now brings you A Hunter’s Tale. This is a deeper look into hunting incidents that have occurred in New Zealand. It is the first time in New Zealand that all hunting injuries, search and rescues and fatalities have been explored to this degree of detail. Viewed in reference to hunting participation, Permit and license data, A Hunter’s Tale now provides the greatest level of clarity into hunting that has ever been accomplished in New Zealand to date.

Total recorded incidents Injuries: 12,628 (01/01/2004 - 31/03/2016) Hunters involved in search & rescues: 582 (01/07/2010 - 30/06/2015) Fatalities: 41 (01/06/2007 - 30/06/2016)

1,030 Injuries

116

Hunters involved in Search & Rescues

Each year there were on average

4.7

Fatalities

NZ Hunting Insights developed by the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council - 2017

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participation We begin by looking at hunting participation in New Zealand.

NZ hunters The majority of hunters in New Zealand are male and of New Zealand European ethnicity. Roughly 1 in 10 New Zealand men go hunting each year.

NZ hunters’ demographics

166,675 active hunters in new zealand

Age

Gender 65+

6%

7%

25%

24%

23%

35-49

26%

30%

34%

19%

25-34

18%

24%

17%

14%

16-24

12%

15%

19%

13%

8%

1%

50-64

Male 92%

Female

19%

8%

Ethnicity

<16

Other 6% NZ European 87% Maori

15%

6

15%

11%

38,168

Fish & game Licences 2015/2016 season

58,861

hunters applying for doc Permits 1/07/2015 - 30/06/2016

21%

166,675

4,693,200

Active nz hunting Participation survey

census data of nz population NOVEMBER 2016


Participation - who?

50% of all international visitors who hunt in NZ are Australian

International hunters in NZ Every year more than 28,000 international visitors hunt in New Zealand. Half of them are Australian. Most are male, but a considerable proportion of international hunters are female. Over half of the visiting hunters are under 35.

international huntersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; demographics

28,423

international hunters travel to nz per year

Age

Gender The gender ratio of international hunters shows a higher female participation than NZ hunters

Male 73%

Over half of the international hunters are under 35 years of age

Female

65+

3%

50-64

21%

35-49

26%

25-34

25%

15-24

25%

27%

Nationality

Half of the international hunters are from Australia

Australia 50% USA

15% Germany

UK 4%

China 1%

Japan

4%

1%

The remaining hunters come from a large number of countries, with each representing less than 1% of the total

28,423

MBIE International visitor survey 2015

NZ Hunting Insights developed by the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council - 2017

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nz hunters participate in different types of hunting all year round

when do they hunt? When NZers go hunting Compared to many other forms of outdoor recreation activity, hunters are less likely to let seasonal factors affect their decision to head out. However, April and May have a significant increase in the number of incidents. Traditional hunting seasons for duck and deer during their breeding seasons impact this participation rise.

Key

nz hunting participation across the year

Percentage of all active hunters per month

61.9%

65.7%

67.4%

66.3%

DEC

62.2%

NOV

62.8%

OCT

APR

65.8%

SEP

MAR

77.9%

AUG

71.2%

JUL

69.8%

JUN

67.2%

MAY

67.1%

FEB

Average 67.1%

JAN

A slight increase in participation over the autumn hunting seasons

Key

all hunting incidents across the year

Average monthly participation rate

A significant increase in hunting incidents over the autumn hunting season

Proportion of hunters applying for DOC Permits Proportion of ACC injury claims Proportion of hunters involved in a SAR Proportion of hunting fatalities

8

DEC

NOV

OCT

SEP

AUG

JUL

JUN

MAY

APR

MAR

FEB

JAN

Participation


participation - when?

70% of nz hunters actively hunt more than once a month

How often NZers hunt The majority of hunters head out for one or two days each month. Almost 3% of the hunting community hunt more than five days a week. The typical hunter spends 18 days a year hunting.

Frequency of nz huntersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; trips across a year

30.0% 51.2% 14.0%

2.0%

2.8% More often

Less often Less than once a month

1-2 days a month

1-2 days a week

3-4 days a week

5-7 days a week

Annual hunting days Based on the seasonality and frequency of hunting we estimate that there are approximately:

18

hunting days a year for a TYPICAL NEW ZEALAND hunter

5,666,950 cumulative hunting days for all NEW ZEALAND hunters

NZ Hunting Insights developed by the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council - 2017

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where do NZ hunters live? hunters’ home areas in 4 ‘mega regions’ Hunting is an activity that occurs all over New Zealand. In order to link the different participation data from Sport NZ, Fish & Game and Department of Conservation (DOC) we’ve split the country into four ‘mega regions’. This shows us that South Islanders are much more likely to hunt than North Islanders when compared to the population of these areas. upper North Island Key Percentage of total NZ population

24%

Percentage of total hunting participation

of NZ population

Percentage of DOC Permits Percentage of Fish & Game Licences

29%

of hunting participation

Auckland

34% 11% 8% South Island

23%

10%

of NZ population

of hunting participation

28%

of DOC Permits

31%

of Fish & Game Licences

of DOC Permits of Fish & Game Licences

of NZ population

Lower North Island

36%

of hunting participation

18%

24%

45%

44%

of DOC Permits

of NZ population

of hunting participation

15%

of DOC Permits

13%

of Fish & Game Licences

of Fish & Game Licences

unclassified

5%

10

2%


participation - from?

the south island has more hunters per capita than the north island

Permits and Licences Looking more closely at participation by region we can see that Canterbury has the highest number of hunters applying for DOC Permits, however it is hunters in Southland who have the highest number of Fish & Game Licences. In the North Island, the highest number of hunters acquiring Licences and Permits were from the Waikato.

Mega Region

Region

Hunters applying for DOC Permits

Fish & Game Licences

Hunting participation

Auckland

Auckland

4,440

3,724

19,029

Northland

1,066

1,977

Waikato

7,562

4,621

Bay of Plenty

5,040

2,271

446

560

Hawkeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bay

2,531

2,304

Taranaki

1,644

777

Manawatu/Wanganui

3,588

2,803

Wellington

3,465

1,512

Tasman

1,619

431

Nelson

1,221

182

Marlborough

1,618

407

Upper North Island

Gisborne

Lower North Island

South Island

Unclassified

Total

47,833

39,468

West Coast

1,014

485

Canterbury

10,444

4,727

60,345

Otago

5,850

4,916

Southland

4,527

5,554

2,804

917

-

58,861

38,168

166,675

NZ Hunting Insights developed by the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council - 2017

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incidents We now look at hunters who were injured, involved in a search and rescue or were in a fatal incident.

hunting incidents in 4 ‘mega regions’ Looking again at the four New Zealand ‘mega regions’, we can see where injuries, search and rescues and fatalities are occurring. Clearly the Upper North Island, particularly around the central plateau, has a much higher rate of people getting into trouble as evident in the dark blue heat map.

upper North Island

38%

of hunting injuries

Key Percentage of all hunting injuries Percentage of all hunters in SARs Percentage of all hunting fatalities Heatmap of all hunters in SARs

Auckland

3%

of hunting injuries

2%

of hunters in SARs

3%

of hunting fatalities

40%

of hunters in SARs

37%

of hunting fatalities

Chatham islands

5% of hunting fatalities

South Island

42% 40%

45%

12

of hunting injuries

Lower North Island

17%

of hunting injuries

17%

of hunters in SARs

16%

of hunting fatalities

of hunters in SARs

of hunting fatalities


- where? injuries incidents

Regional breakdown Diving a little deeper, the breakdown of incidents by the 16 regions of New Zealand gives us further insight into where incidents are occurring.

AKL upper north island lower north island south island

Injuries

Percentage of all hunting injuries Percentage of all hunters in SARs

proportion of incidents per region Region

Key

Percentage of all hunting fatalities

Involved in a SAR

Fatalities

Auckland

3%

2%

2%

Northland

4%

1%

0%

Waikato

13%

19%

15%

Bay of Plenty

10%

14%

12%

Gisborne

4%

2%

0%

Hawkeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bay

6%

3%

7%

Taranaki

4%

2%

2%

Manawatu/Wanganui

8%

9%

10%

Wellington

6%

4%

2%

Tasman

3%

5%

2%

Nelson

2%

0%

0%

Marlborough

5%

3%

0%

West Coast

3%

6%

7%

Canterbury

12%

13%

17%

Otago

10%

6%

7%

Southland

5%

6%

7%

Unclassified

1%

4%

7% NZ Hunting Insights developed by the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council - 2017

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who were they?

6

types of nz hunting

Big game hunting

The daytime pursuit of any medium or large game animal found outside of the alpine environment in forested, broken or open country.

Game bird hunting

The pursuit of any game bird; inclusive of ducks, upland bird species or any other bird species which is legal to hunt in New Zealand.

Pig hunting

The pursuit of wild pigs through the use of trained pig-hunting dogs to locate and capture.

Alpine hunting

The daytime pursuit of any medium or large game animal that lives primarily in an alpine environment.

Small game hunting

The pursuit of any small game animal during daylight hours.

Night hunting

The pursuit of any game animal after dark and before dawn with the aid of a spotlight, torch, natural moonlight or any other piece of equipment the allows the hunter to see game in the dark.

14


incidents - Who?

hunters aged 65+ are more commonly injured in game bird and small game hunting

Age of injured hunters per hunting type There are many hunters who hunt more than one species. Looking at the injury data by hunting type gives us insight into the ages of those that get injured, and the type of hunting theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re doing at the time of their injury.

age groups of injured hunters per HUNTING type

Key Percentage of injuries

Age 2%

4%

25%

19%

37%

22%

32%

24%

14%

13%

18%

13%

24%

18%

20%

20%

3%

5%

2%

8%

7%

14%

25%

25%

15%

35-49

32%

28%

31%

25-34

20%

17%

16-24

15%

2%

50-64

<16

3%

13%

5%

65+

26%

over 50% of pig hunting injuries occur to hunters aged under 35 NZ Hunting Insights developed by the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council - 2017

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Age of hunters involved in incidents

62% of pig hunters involved in a search & rescue are aged 34 and under

In most cases, search and rescue data indicates what type of hunting was taking place. Out of the 582 hunters involved in search and rescues, 478 were hunting either pigs or big game. There were also 29 alpine search and rescues. However, this number is not large enough to break down into age groups. We can also see here the ages of hunters involved in fatal incidents. The age group of fatalities is distinctly different to the distribution of age groups in injury and search and rescue. Key

age groups of hunters in incidents

Percentage of all hunting injuries Percentage of hunters involved in SARs Percentage of all hunting fatalities

Age

Big game and pig hunting were the only types with enough SAR incidents to break down into age

6%

50-64

21%

21%

11%

32%

35-49

31%

24%

21%

15%

25-34

21%

22%

27%

20%

16-24

19%

18%

30%

24%

4%

9%

5%

5%

336

142

<16

12,628

injured hunters across all types

big game hunters pig hunters involved in a involved in a search & rescue search & rescue

of all hunting fatalities, 49% are alone at the time of the incident 16

3%

5%

65+

5%

41

Fatalities across all hunting types


incidents - Who/what?

Causes of hunting fatalities Diving deeper into the fatality data helps us to understand the cause of their death. It also shows that although we explore firearms-related deaths later in this publication, firearms are not the only way that hunters are dying.

causes of all 41 hunting fatalities

1 1 2 2

Pig

game bird

1

Pig

1

night hunting

night hunting

Big game

3

1 night hunting

NIght hunting

1

5

Alpine

6

2

fall

Small game

3

1 Pig

game bird

1

Big game

3

11

1

9 Misidentification of target

3 Big game

8 accidentally shot self

7

Drowned

Big game

2

night hunting

Small game

Big game

game bird

5 accidentally Shot by other

1 Big game

avalanche

54% of all hunting fatalities involve a firearm NZ Hunting Insights developed by the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council - 2017

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what went wrong? Types of injuries We have isolated the type of hunting that a hunter was doing at the time of their injury. Using the key below you can see which injuries are occurring relevant to each hunting type.

General/terrain Falling Injuries as a direct result of a fall.

NZ Bush Fights Back Injuries inflicted by sticks, branches, speargrass, gorse, blackberry or matagouri. Includes puncture wounds, lacerations and subsequent infections.

Foot/Knee Sprain Trip, slip or stumble resulting in a sprained knee or ankle.

Other Hip/Leg/Foot Injury Any other miscellaneous nonspecific injuries to the hip, leg or foot.

Other Cut or Puncture Any other miscellaneous non-specific cut or puncture wounds.

Other Arm Injury Any other miscellaneous non-specific arm injuries.

Other Head/Face Any other miscellaneous nonspecific injuries to the face or head.

Drowning Any injury or treatment related to drowning while hunting.

18

Hunting action

Firearm

Knife Wound Laceration or puncture wound specifically inflicted by a knife.

Firearm Handling Injury Any injury sustained as a result of a firearm being discharged, not including gunshot wounds.

Carrying Heavy Load Any injury as a result of carrying additional weight on the back, heavy backpacks or animals.

accidentally Shot/ Ricochet A gunshot wound sustained in a hunting setting.

Horn/Antler Injury inflicted by game animal horn or antler in the form of a puncture, laceration or soft tissue injury.

Firearms Malfunction Injury as a result of a firearm malfunctioning at the time of discharge.

Pig/Dog Bite Wild pig or hunting dog bite, rip, gouge or tear.

Flashback/Powder burn/ Eye Damage Injury as a result of being in close proximity to a discharging firearm.

Archery Any injury sustained from any archery equipment.

Hearing Loss As a result of being in close proximity to a discharging firearm.

Vehicle Any injury sustained as a result of a vehicle.


injuries - types incidents

How they compare Because each hunting type is uniquely different we naturally see different types of injuries occurring. Falling is the most common injury type for all hunting. Certain hunting types show unique injury patterns specific to participation in that style of hunting.

4.5% 3.7% 2.7% 2.6% OTHER

all hunting

33.7%

10.3%

9.9% 7.3% 6.8% 5.6%

12.9%

12,628 total injuries

top injuries within each hunting type

OTHER

37.1%

15.5%

11.1%

10.1%

26.2%

Big Game

OTHER

24.1%

9.6% 6.4% 6%

14.8%

39.1%

Game bird

OTHER

21.5%

14.8%

14.1%

7.3% 6%

13.2%

23.1%

pig

OTHER

60%

14.4%

6.5% 5%

14.5%

alpine

OTHER

19.7%

14.2%

13.1%

9.8% 7.1%

36.1%

small game

OTHER

32.2%

9%

8% 7.4%

43.4%

night NZ Hunting Insights developed by the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council - 2017

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injuries from falling cause the majority of claims costs and compensation days

$20,579,220 total CLAIM cost of all injury claims 01/01/2004 - 31/03/2016

All hunting injuries Every injury has a different treatment and recovery cost. There are many variables that contribute to this. Some injury types are more expensive to treat and recover from. We have analysed the breakdown of each type of injury and compared this with the total claim cost and number of compensation days paid for each injury.

cost proportions for hunting injuries

33.7% falling

10.3% 9% 8%

Foot/ knee sprain

NZ bush fights back

Vehicle

OTHER

20

% of total compensation days

% of total compensation days % of total injuries % of total injury claim cost % of total compensation days % of total injuries

9% 6%

1% 1%

% of total injury claim cost

% of total injury claim cost

1.2% accidentally shot/ricochet

53% 57%

% of total injuries

% of total injuries

9.9% 8% 8%

carrying heavy load

Falling made up 33.7% of all injuries and 53% of the total claim cost

% of total injury claim cost % of total compensation days

7.3%

% of total injuries % of total injury claim cost % of total compensation days

2.7% 3% 3%

% of total injuries % of total injury claim cost % of total compensation days

18% 17%

34.8%

% of total injuries

% of total injury claim cost % of total compensation days


INjuries - Cost incidents

1% OF ALL HUNTING INJURIES ACCOUNT FOR 51% OF THE TOTAL CLAIM COST

Top 150 injuries The most serious injuries To look at the most serious injuries, we isolated both the top 150 claims in terms of the total claim cost and the top 150 claims in terms of the total number of compensation days. We then looked at the breakdown of these top claims with reference to injury type. The 150 most expensive claims made up only 1% of all hunting injuries yet it accounted for 51% of the total claim cost or $10,644,631.60 in total. Over half of the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;shot/ ricochet section comes from a single large claim

cost breakdown for top 150 injuries

compensation days for top 150 injuries

Dog/pig bite

Foot/knee sprain

Drowning

1,258

1,374

$0.32M

Other

$0.7M Hip/leg/foot

$0.48M

3%

Other

3,489 Hip/leg/foot

2,740

7%

5%

3%

$0.64M

$10.64M 15%

injury claim cost for top 150 injuries

Heavy load 63%

7%

4,032

8% 9%

49,971

Compensation days for top 150 injuries

65%

Accidentally shot/richochet

Accidentally shot/richochet

$1.57M

3%

5%

6%

Heavy load

The first seven days off work are paid for by your employer and therefore are not included here

Fall

$6.72M

4,729

Fall

32,349

NZ Hunting Insights developed by the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council - 2017

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A deeper dive into hunting Evaluating the trends occurring across the six different hunting types.

22


Hunting types

Page

Big game hunting

24-27

Game bird hunting

28-29

Pig hunting

30-31

Alpine hunting

32-33

Small game hunting

34-35

Night hunting

36-37

NZ Hunting Insights developed by the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council - 2017

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big game Big game hunters are those who are hunting for medium to large game animals. This includes all deer species, goats, wallaby and opportune wild pigs. This hunter type makes up the largest number of hunters in New Zealand and includes those that regard themselves as deerstalkers or bush hunters. Big game hunters hunt in a range of environments including semi-open farm land, bush edges, river flats and fully-forested bush areas below the tree line.

Risk of injury to big game hunters Big game hunting is the largest hunting type and largely represents the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;averageâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; New Zealand hunter. However, the risk to big game hunters was slightly elevated for some injury causes. When compared to all hunters, those big game hunting were:

2.5x

2.5x

1.5x

24

archery Two and a half times more likely to sustain an archery injury. Currently there are not a large number of archery-related injuries to New Zealand hunters. However, as bow hunting becomes more popular, injuries are becoming more frequent. Horn/Antler Two and a half times more likely to sustain an injury from a deer antler. There is an elevated risk of puncture wounds when hunters are in close contact with antlered animals. Carrying heavy load One and a half times more likely to sustain an injury while carrying a heavy load - either a heavy back pack or carrying out a harvested animal. An increased weight-load on the back increases the prevalence of a range of injuries.

1% of big game hunting injuries inVolve a firearm


big game

57% OF BIG GAME HUNTERS INVOLVED IN SEARCH & RESCUES aRE IN THE NORTH ISLAND

Hot spots This heat map demonstrates where search and rescue operations occurred across the country specific to big game hunters. There is a correlation in numbers of hunters involved in search and rescues and a high proportion of injuries in the same areas. Bay of plenty

TOP 4 LOCATIONS FOR big game incidents

Waikato

13%

of big game hunting injuries

17%

of big game hunters in SARs

11%

of big game hunting injuries

16%

of big game hunters in SARs

manawatu/wanganui

10%

of big game hunting injuries

11%

of big game hunters in SARs

Canterbury

10%

of big game hunting injuries

12%

of big game hunters in SARs

Key Percentage of big game hunting injuries Percentage of big game hunters in SARs Heatmap of big game hunting SARs

NZ Hunting Insights developed by the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council - 2017

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38% of big game hunting fatalities are from misidentifying a target

Across the year There is a clear trend centred around incidents of all types increasing during March and April.

10%

6%

19%

9%

8%

7%

6%

5%

8%

9%

3%

6%

8%

8%

6%

9%

4%

0%

6%

6%

0%

SEP

7%

AUG

injuries

big game incidents across THE year

7%

The â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Roarâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;

Fatality cause avalanche

misidentification

drowned

6

3

26

accidentally Shot self

3

accidentally Shot other

Fall

2

1

1

16

0%

DEC

NOV

0%

6%

See Misidentification section of this document for further detail

6%

19%

OCT

FEB

31%

APR

0% MAR

6%

JAN

fatalities

25%

JUL

8%

6%

JUN

4%

MAY

Search &rescue

32%


big game

Fatality location Big game hunting has the highest number of fatalities and shows a wide range of fatality causes. Misidentification makes up the largest number of these fatalities.

locations of big game hunting fatalities Key Misidentification Drowned Accidentally shot self Fall Avalanche Accidentally shot other

88%

29%

of North Island big game hunting fatalities involved a firearm

of South Island big game hunting fatalities involved a firearm

target species when a fatality occurred

87.5% 12.5%

NZ Hunting Insights developed by the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council - 2017

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game bird Game bird hunters are those who hunt for any species of New Zealand game bird. This includes upland game birds (pheasant, quail and chuckor), turkey, peacock, geese (canadian and grey), pukeko, black swan and all waterfowl species which are legal to hunt during open season (mallard, grey, paradise and shoveller ducks).

Risk of injury to game bird hunters Game bird hunting is largely dominated by the duck hunting season where hunters are in close proximity to each other. A large number of the injuries are firearms-related, indicating very poor firearm handling and safety practices.

34% of game bird hunting injuries involve a firearm

When compared to all hunters, those game bird hunting were:

14.5x

flashback/powder burn 14.5 times more likely to sustain an injury as a result of being in close proximity to a firearm being discharged. Injuries range from powder burn, eye injuries and injuries as a result of ejected shells.

8.0x

accidentally Shot/Ricochet Eight times more likely to sustain a gunshot wound which represents a serious and concerning trend.

7.5x

hearing loss Seven and a half times more likely to sustain serious hearing loss while hunting. This suggests that firearms are being discharged in close proximity to other hunters heads, without ear protection, which is another very concerning trend.

6.0x

Firearm Handling Injury Six times more likely to injure themselves while discharging a firearm. This includes injuries such as broken fingers, severe bruising and soft tissue damage.

target species when injured by a firearm

88%

Most of game bird hunting firearms injuries occurred whilst duck hunting

28


Game bird

41% of game bird hunting injuries occur on opening weekend

Across the year The majority of data in this section relates directly to the duck hunting season. However, there are incidents that occur to hunters outside of that season where hunters target other species.

percentage of game bird injuries per month

2%

1%

2%

DEC

1%

NOV

APR

2%

OCT

MAR

6%

SEP

FEB

14%

AUG

3%

JUL

3%

JUN

3%

MAY

1%

JAN

injuries

64%

NZ duck hunting season

Fatality cause accidentally Shot self

2

accidentally Shot other

2

Fall

1

5

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pig hunting Pig hunters are defined as those who enter the outdoors with the intention to hunt wild pigs with the use of trained hunting dogs. This is a style of pig hunting widely utilised in New Zealand. New Zealand pig hunters hunt using methods unique to catching pigs with dogs, often ending up in thick vegetation and challenging terrain.

Risk of injury to pig hunters

species inflicting bites to pig hunters

59%

The nature of pig hunting results in a unique set of risks associated with being in close contact with both pigs and their own hunting dogs. This scenario is often played out in challenging terrain with elevated levels of adrenaline.

41%

When compared to all hunters, those pig hunting were:

4.0x

2.5x 1.5x 1.5x

pig/dog bite Four times more likely to sustain a bite from either a wild pig or hunting dog. A bite, tear or rip from either animal has the potential to cause serious injuries.

421 serious bites were sustained BY pig hunters

knife wound Two and a half times more likely to sustain a knife wound. The data suggests that the majority of these occur while dispatching a wild pig. Many injuries are due to wounds becoming badly infected in the days following. Other Arm Injury One and a half times more likely to sustain an arm injury. These injuries typically occurred when getting hold of a pig, or during a hurried approach to a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;bailedâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; or caught pig. carrying heavy load One and a half times more likely to sustain an injury as a result of carrying a heavy load. Increased weight on the back can lead to a raft of serious, and sometimes permanent, injuries.

Fatality cause drowned

3

30

accidentally Shot self

1

Fall

1

5


Pig

The majority of pig hunting search & rescues and fatalities were in the north island

Hot spots The majority of pig hunting incidents occurred in the North Island with higher rates of search and rescue and injury around the central plateau region.

NOrthland

10%

of pig hunting injuries

TOP 6 LOCATIONS FOR pig hunting incidents Bay of plenty

Waikato

17%

32%

10%

of pig hunting injuries

12%

of pig hunters in SARs

of pig hunting injuries

of pig hunters in SARs

taranaki

7%

of pig hunters in SARs

Key Percentage of pig hunting injuries Percentage of pig hunters in SARs Heatmap of pig hunting SARs

Canterbury

12%

of pig hunters in SARs

locations of pig hunting fatalities

Otago

9%

of pig hunters in SARs

Note: colours of the dots correspond to the cause of fatality bar on bottom left

Chatham Islands

NZ Hunting Insights developed by the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council - 2017

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alpine Alpine hunters intend to hunt above the bush-line in an alpine environment in search of species that are known to live there. This includes tahr and chamois as well as some deer species in certain locations or certain times of the year. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s only considered to be alpine hunting while actively hunting above the bush-line in the alpine zone where trees give way to snow fields, open rock and open tussock.

Risk of injury to alpine hunters A trip, slip or fall while hunting in the alpine environment is often more serious due to the steep and exposed nature of the terrain. Alpine hunting injuries are dominated by falling. Unfortunately, a few of these falls result in fatalities. When compared to all hunters, those alpine hunting were:

2.0x

falling Twice as likely to sustain an injury as the result of a fall. In the alpine environment, both the likelihood and the consequences of a fall are significantly higher.

Falls resulting in serious injuries reduce the mobility of the hunter and can lead to a fatality very quickly, especially in an alpine environment.

locations of alpine hunting fatalities

1.5x

Foot/knee sprain One and a half times more likely to sustain a twisted or sprained knee or ankle in an incident not involving a fall.

4 of the 5 ALPINE HUNTing fatalities WERE ALONE AT THE TIME OF THEIR FALL

Shot self

60%

Fatality cause Fall

5

32

5


Alpine

all alpine hunting search & rescues and fatalities are in the south island

Hot spots Alpine hunting incidents are concentrated through the main divide of the South Island with two clear hotspots for Alpine hunting related search and rescues.

TOP 6 LOCATIONS FOR alpine hunting incidents Key Percentage of alpine hunting injuries Percentage of alpine hunters in SARs Heatmap of alpine hunting SARs

Marlborough

6%

of alpine hunters in SARs

Tasman

10% of alpine hunters in SARs

West coast

8%

32%

Canterbury

of alpine hunting injuries

35%

of alpine hunters in SARs

39%

of alpine hunting injuries

of alpine hunters in SARs

Otago

17%

of alpine hunting injuries

Southland

7%

of alpine hunting injuries

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small game Small game hunters primarily target rabbits and hares during daylight hours. They often use smaller calibres, shotguns or air rifles. Small game hunters typically hunt in open country or farmland. They occasionally use some kind of vehicle to move around.

Risk of injury to small game hunters

37% of small game hunters who shoot themselves are under 25 years old

Small game hunters have a poor record when it comes to firearms safety with a disproportionate share of serious firearm injuries attributed to hunting rabbits. When compared to all hunters, those small game hunting were:

10.5x

shot/ricochet Ten and a half times as likely to sustain a gunshot wound. Although this often occurs with lighter calibre firearms, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s still a very concerning trend.

5.5x

vehicle Five and a half times more likely to sustain a vehicle-related injury. Small game hunters often use a mode of transport to cover a larger hunting area.

cause of serious small game firearm injuries

Accidentally shot self

56%

Firearm Handling Injury Three times more likely to sustain an injury discharging a firearm. This includes injuries such as broken fingers, severe bruising and soft tissue damage.

3.0x

48

Across the year

Gunshot wounds Accidentally shot by other

Small game hunters are injured throughout the year with noticeable spikes in the number of injuries in April and December.

44%

7%

7%

OCT

NOV

DEC

5%

9%

SEP

JUN

15%

8% AUG

3%

JUL

3%

MAY

17%

APR

10%

MAR

6% FEB

34

9%

JAN

injuries

percentage of small game injuries per month


small game

68% of small game hunting injuries are in the south island

Hot spots A high proportion of small game injuries occur in Otago which has a large population of rabbits. The South Island has the majority of small game injuries.

TOP 3 LOCATIONS FOR small game injuries Key Percentage of small game injuries

Canterbury

19%

of small game injuries

Otago

38%

of small game injuries

Southland

8%

firearms causing serious injuries Air rifle

Rifle Shotgun

of small game injuries

target species when firearm injury occurred

42% 35%

100%

23%

All gunshot wounds sustained while small game hunting occurred while hunting rabbits

Fatality cause accidentally shot by other

1

accidentally Shot self

1

2

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night hunting Night hunters are those who pursue any game animal after dark and before dawn. They do so with the aid of a spotlight, torch, moonlight or any other piece of equipment that allows the hunter to see game in the dark.

firearms are involved in 9% of night hunting injuries and 63% of fatalities

Risk of injury to night hunters Hunting in the dark creates a range of unique environmental conditions and risks.

locations of night hunting fatalities

When compared to all hunters, those night hunting were:

4.0x 3.5x

accidentally shot/ricochet Four times more likely to sustain a gunshot wound. Night hunters are susceptible to serious firearm accidents including misidentified target incidents.

vehicle Three and a half times more likely to sustain a vehicle-related injury. Night hunters often use a mode of transport to cover a larger hunting area.

night hunting has the 2nd highest number of fatalities behind big game HUNTING

Note: colours of the dots correspond to the cause of fatality bar below

Fatality causes Misidentification

3

Fall

accidentally Shot self

2

1

See Misidentification section of this document for further detail 36

drowned

1

accidentally shot by other

1

8


night hunting

65% of night hunting injuries are in the north island

Hot spots

NOrthland

10%

A third of night hunting injuries occurred in the upper North Island.

of night hunting injuries

TOP 7 LOCATIONS FOR night hunting injuries Bay of plenty

Key Percentage of night hunting injuries

12%

of night hunting injuries

Waikato

11%

of night hunting injuries

manawatu/whanganui

9%

of night hunting injuries

Wellington

6%

of night hunting injuries

Canterbury

12%

of night hunting injuries

Otago

6%

of night hunting injuries

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Finally we look closer at incidents involving firearms As we have seen over the previous pages, firearms incidents occur across all hunting types and contribute to serious injuries, search and rescue and fatalities. Over the following pages we explore hunting incidents involving firearms in greater detail.

isolating firearms-related hunting incidents

12,628 total hunting injuries 01/01/2004 - 31/03/2016

Firearms-related keyword search

850

injuries involving/ mentioning a firearm

Manual check of each individual claim

628

injuries as a result of fireaRm discharging

Classification of injury type

210

GUNSHOT WOUNDS

Misidentification of target Accidentally shot by other Accidentally shot self

38

414

other firearm incidents

Proximity Handling of firearm Malfunction

4

unknown


Firearms

Page

Non-intentional hunting related firearms incidents

40-41

Non-intentional hunting related firearms fatalities

42

Misidentification of target

43-47

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non-intentional hunting related firearms incidents

628

Of the 12,628 injuries to hunters between 1 January 2004 and 31 March 2016 there were 628 injuries resulting from a firearm. Approximately one third of these were gunshot wounds and most of the remaining two-thirds were due to poor firearm handling. All incidents in this section were accidental and occurred in a hunting setting.

non-intentional firearms incidents 01/01/2004 - 31/03/2016

Gunshot wounds Of all the firearms-related injuries, a concerning number had the potential to be a fatality. This includes self-inflicted wounds, people shot by another individual unintentionally (including ricochet) and incidents where an individual is shot due to being mistaken for a game animal.

Misidentification

5%

Accidentally shot by other

49%

210

Serious F/A incidents

Accidentally shot self

46%

Other incidents All other firearms-related injuries are generally the direct result of handling errors, the firearm malfunctioning, or being in close proximity to a firearm at the time of discharge.

gunshot wounds have the highest mean claim cost and compensation days

$11,564

average acc claim for a SERIOUS firearm related injury

36

Malfunction

2%

Proximity

27%

average compensation days for a SERIOUS firearm related injury

414

Other injuries

Handling 40

71%

There were four incidents that we were not able to classify


Firearms incidents incidents

Firearms incidents across the hunting types Depending on the type of hunting taking place, the number and type of firearms incidents changes. Some hunting types are prone to high numbers of firearm-related incidents.

Precentage of incidents across hunting types

Misidentification

Big game

Game bird

Pig

Small game

Night Hunting

Unknown

64%

0%

0%

0%

36%

0%

Accidentally shot self

9%

29%

Accidentally shot by other

8%

48%

Other firearms injuries

Alpine hunting had such a low rate of firearm-related incidents that it was removed from this section

40%

26%

3%

2%

1%

31%

10%

17%

22%

10%

11%

6%

3%

24%

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non-intentional hunting firearms fatalities

22

Here we look closer at the people who were responsible for a non-intentional firearm fatality while hunting. This includes those who accidentally shot themselves or accidentally shot someone else as a result of a ‘shot by other’ or ‘misidentified target’ shooting.

non intentional firearms fataities 01/06/2007 – 20/06/2016 Hunters aged 50-64 had the highest rate of shooting others and themselves

the shooters’ demographics

Gender

Age 0%

65+

50-64

59%

35-49

5%

25-34

9%

16-24

18%

Male 100%

9%

<16

Fatality causes Misidentification

9

42

Accidentally Shot self

accidentally shot by other

5

8

22


Firearms incidents incidents

misidentification of target

12AM-1AM 1AM-2AM

A misidentified shooting is defined as the hunter failing to fully identify their target and firing a shot at another person, having mistaken them for a game animal. To explore this topic we decided to extend our data period as far back as possible to better understand the circumstances surrounding misidentified shootings in New Zealand.

2AM-3AM

1

3AM-4AM

1

4AM-5AM

64

5AM-6AM

1

6AM-7AM

1

7AM-8AM

misidentified target shootings 01/01/1979 - 30/06/2016

When did they happen? 58 of the shootings occurred during daylight with only six shootings reported to be at night. Of the 64 shootings, we know the exact time of when 28 of the incidents occurred.

time of day

4

8AM-9AM 9AM-10AM 10AM-11AM

4 1

11AM-12PM

4

12PM-1PM

2

1PM-2PM

(we know the exact time for 28 of the shootings) Key Number of shootings in this hour

2PM-3PM

1

3PM-4PM

2

4PM-5PM

1

5PM-6PM

1

6PM-7PM 7PM-8PM 8PM-9PM

Night time hours during summer months are much later in the day

1

9PM-10PM 10PM-11PM

4

11PM-12AM NZ Hunting Insights developed by the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council - 2017

43


80% of daytime misidentified shootings are members of the same hunting party

58

of the 64 misidentified shootings WERE during THE DAY

(of the 50 incidents where we knew this element)

Day shootings We have separated out the shootings that occurred during the day and looked at them separately from those shootings occurring in the dark/at night.

distance between shooter and victim (we know the exact distance for 38 of the shootings) The median distance between shooter and victim was 35 metres

37%

34%

â&#x2030;¤25m

21%

26-50m

50-75m

5% 75-100m

2.5% 100m+

target species during misidentification

5.2%

91.4 1.7%

The vast majority of daytime misidentified shootings were big game hunting for deer 44

1.7%

91% of misidentified shootings occur in the daylight


Misidentification incidents

76% of daytime misidentified shootings are in the north island (of the daytime incidents where we could indentify the location)

Where did they happen?

Pureora area

This heat map illustrates where the misidentified shootings have occurred. There is a clear indication that areas which tend to be covered in heavy bush have a higher rate of incident when compared to hunting areas that are typically more open.

3

te urewer area

heatmap of day misidentified shootings (we know the location for 49 of the shootings)

7

Kaimanawa area

6

blue mountains area

3

NZ Hunting Insights developed by the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council - 2017

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Is it a generational thing? In the case of a misidentified shooting, the victim is unaware that theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re being targeted as a game animal. In each case the failure to fully identify a target sits squarely on the shoulders of the shooter. Below we explore the daytime misidentified shootings, and present these in a manner that highlights the increasing average age of these shooters over time.

the majority of shooters responsible for a misidentified shooting were of the same generation

these hunters have been responsible for 75% of all misidentified shootings since 1979 This band shows misidentified shooters born between 19501969. They make up 75% of the total shooters

age of shooters vs year of incident (we know the age details for 51 of the 58 daytime shootings) 70 60

Age of shooter

50 40 30 20 10

1975

1980

1985

1990

1995

2000

Year of incident

46

2005

2010

2015

2020


Misidentification incidents

6

there were

OF THE 64 MISIDENDENTIFIED SHOOTINGS WERE AT NIGHT

Night shooting Misidentified shootings that happen at night occur under completely different conditions. Compared to day time shootings these incidents occur in total darkness and typically with the use of artificial light to spot game and aid the hunter. In most cases the victim was either wearing a headlamp or carrying a torch which was mistaken for the glowing eyes of a game animal.

distance between shooter and victim

The average distance between shooters and victims was 85 metres

33% â&#x2030;¤25m

17% 26-50m

0% 50-75m

0% 75-100m

50% 100m+

result of misidentified shootings

Fatal

50% Serious injury

50%

Misidentification shootings at night

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key insights Summary This section presents a range of key insights and findings much like a publication or project summary. The process of developing this publication and the insights it contains has taken place over a period of many months, involving multiple MSC staff, multiple key data source partners, partners from the hunting and outdoor recreation sectors and specialist statistical and analytical professionals.

It has not been our intention to depict hunting in a negative light, nor suggest that it is any more or any less dangerous than other outdoor recreation activities. We initially considered comparing data in this publication to other outdoor recreation activities, but have chosen not to do so. Hunting is an integral part of life for many New Zealanders. Given the high participation rates, variable and challenging environments that hunters encounter and the exploratory nature of hunting, it’s generally accepted that things will go wrong from time-to-time and that unfortunate tragic accidents will occur. However, through this project we have become even more convinced that many of the serious incidents we now know about are certainly preventable. A Hunter’s Tale tells a compelling story for hunting in general, but also for each hunting type through the exploration of injuries and relative risk of injury. This provides a powerful context for the serious incidents, and for the first time allows us to understand the actual behaviours that led to a serious incident or fatality. The injury data in this document has never been analysed to this level of detail before. By isolating the specific type of hunting that was being undertaken at the time of the incident, we have a much clearer picture of what risks are common to hunters based on documented hunting injuries. Historically, attempts to develop a comprehensive picture as to ‘what was going wrong’ in respect to hunter safety had been either based on limited information surrounding only a selection of serious or fatal incidents, or the information was sourced through mechanisms that did not capture all relevant events. We now have a robust and repeatable methodology for collecting data, one that relies on close partnerships with several organisations.

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‘Hunting is an integral part of life for many New Zealanders.’

Participation New Zealand hunters participate in multiple types of hunting throughout the year. Although participation seems to be relatively static across the year, the incident data suggests that some New Zealand hunters tend to target specific animals or participate in specific hunting types at key times. During the month of April, it’s clear that many big game hunters are focused on deer species during the breeding season, before shifting their focus and becoming bird hunters for the duck hunting season in May. In contrast, pig hunting injuries were constant throughout the year, suggesting continuous annual participation within this hunting type.


Big game hunters

More hunters take part in big game hunting than any other form of hunting, so it’s not surprising that they have the largest number of incidents. With respect to the ‘Roar,’ hunting behaviour appears to change and the rate of injury, search and rescue and fatality increases. There is a possible correlation between this behavioural change and increased frequency of participation in concentrated areas of the country. These areas may require higher risk techniques and may be under different conditions than at other times of the year.

key insights incidents

Hunter type

Game bird hunters

Few other outdoor recreational activities in New Zealand have such a dramatic increase in participation as occurs during the opening morning of duck hunting season. This massive increase in participation unfortunately produces a corresponding increase in the rate of incidents. However, it’s the nature of many of these injuries that is of serious concern. It is quite clear that duck hunters sustain firearm related injuries when in close proximity to each other. Standing shoulder-to-shoulder in a Maimai creates a situation where correct muzzle control and firing zone management are very important firearm safety fundamentals to maintain in what can be challenging conditions. The injuries that occur during duck hunting season indicate a large number of ‘close calls’ occur. It’s often luck that has prevented many of these incidents from becoming a fatality.

Pig hunters

Pig hunters appear to have a very good safety record right up until a pig has been ‘bailed’ or caught by their dogs. Nearly all pig hunting fatalities occurred as a result of a hunter trying to reach their dogs. Elevated adrenaline and the urgency to reach their dogs / the pig seems to greatly increase the rate of injury, getting lost and fatality. There are times where pig hunters are taking additional risks that they normally wouldn’t consider doing, or may have managed differently in hindsight. A key learning from our research is that pig hunters should be particularly aware of their emotional response and adrenaline levels when they catch a pig. It’s wise to remember that the ‘bailed pig’ scenario is a high octane, high-risk arena often in close quarters. Any endeavour to calmly make logical level-headed decisions is likely to dramatically reduce the likelihood of a serious incident.

Alpine hunters

Alpine environments are steep and exposed by their very nature. When a hunter loses their footing in this environment the consequences are typically worse than in other hunting environments. Alpine hunting fatalities are typically the result of falling which is perhaps of little surprise given the steep terrain. A clear trend emerged through our analysis. Had these hunters been with another person at the time of their fall, or were carrying a suitable communication device, some of these fatalities could have been prevented or downgraded to a serious incident instead of a fatality.

Small game hunters

Small game hunting has always been an accessible hunting type and is often where many hunters start to learn basic hunting skills. Because of its relative accessibility, this type of hunting tends to attract large numbers of hunters, particularity those starting out or those who are restricted by mobility or accessibility. Similar to game bird hunting we uncovered a surprisingly high number of firearms related injuries. The details of these incidents suggest very poor firearms safety practice.

Night hunting

A large number of hunting fatalities have occurred in the dark. There has also been an increased number of ‘misidentification’ incidents occurring outside of daylight hours. The hunting environment at night and the increased risks that low visibility brings, are vastly different when compared to what hunters encounter during a hunt in daylight. Special consideration and extra care should be taken when hunting at night. Misidentified target incidents occurring at night often involved the victim wearing a headlamp or carrying a torch, the glow of which is then mistaken for the glow of a deer’s eyes in the hunter’s spotlight beam.

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Misidentification 64 people have been shot in the last 37.5 years due to “mistaken for game” shootings. There are always many layers of complexity with an incident of this nature and debate often surrounds the details associated with each event. However, these events are not accidents. While the shooter has clearly not intentionally sought to fire at a human, their failure to completely identify their target beyond all doubt is an incredibly tragic mistake, which in every case, was entirely avoidable. The findings in this section of the publication help us to further understand what’s going wrong in relation to misidentified shootings, and we encourage intelligent discussion around the insights contained within these pages. Each of these incidents had unique contributing factors, but the consistent undertone of hunters failing to fully identify their target is present in each case. There is a clear difference between being convinced that you’re looking at an animal and fully identifying your target beyond all doubt. After analysing these 64 cases in detail it was clear that prior to the incidents the shooters were entirely convinced that it would ‘never happen’ to them. The attitude of ‘It won’t happen to me’ is relatively common in certain activities. It leads some drivers to drive drunk, some skiers to ignore avalanche conditions, and some boat skippers to ignore weather warnings. Hunters are in a unique situation where they poses a mechanism (a firearm) that is specifically designed to inflict a fatal injury instantaneously. The consequences of failing to fully identify a target beyond all doubt are immediate, tragic and catastrophic. Therefore, it is essential that hunters remain acutely aware of this responsibility and ensure that they apply sufficient mental and emotional concern that the target is not a hunter. The checking and re-checking process to adequately manage these factors is well documented. We encourage hunters to refresh themselves regularly on this.

50

‘... failure to completely identify their target beyond all doubt is an incredibly tragic mistake, which in every case, was entirely avoidable.’


key insights incidents

Firearm safety Developing a comprehensive understanding of non-intentional hunting firearms incidents and the role they play in hunter safety was a focus of ‘A Hunter’s Tale’. Through analysis of combined incident data, we now have a complete measure of the hunting incidents involving firearms in New Zealand.

‘... we now have a complete measure of the hunting incidents involving firearms in New Zealand...’

Over half of the hunting fatalities analysed in A Hunters Tale involved a firearm, so firearm safety should remain as a focus for all hunters. Fatality data has always been widely available in New Zealand but without the added context of detailed injury data it is limited in its ability to provide a full understanding of what’s going wrong. Previous to this body of work, New Zealand’s collective understanding as to the actual extent of firearms injuries was relatively limited. Uncovering 210 gunshot wounds to hunters came as somewhat of a surprise as this number is much higher than the records which had previously been held by the Police and the MSC. Further to this, being able to classify these serious firearm injuries by the type of hunting taking place at the time provides a powerful context to further understand what’s going wrong. In addition to the gunshot wounds, 414 other firearm incidents were uncovered. These provide further insight as to the other types of injuries which occur through the direct result of a firearm being discharged. Prior to this project, information about these injuries had not been analysed. Most of these 414 injuries could be considered a ‘near miss’, not because they didn’t result in an injury but because they could easily have resulted in a much more serious incident or fatality. Understanding how different hunting types are more or less prone to different injuries or fatalities provides an exceptionally powerful evidence base which can be used to develop specific prevention measures. Now that we have this insight MSC can begin the process of further understanding causes and contributing factors as we progress towards developing interventions with our partners.

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methodology A Hunter’s Tale - a deep dive into New Zealand hunting participation and incidents Through this publication the Mountain Safety Council (MSC) explores in detail exactly what has been happening to New Zealand hunters from a safety perspective. This publication and its associated insights forms an evidence base that has never been available before, providing the most comprehensive collection, analysis and presentation of facts available. This publication is not intended to provide solutions, targeted interventions or vilify hunting as a ‘dangerous’ activity. It simply presents what we now know about New Zealand hunting participation and incidents. This publication does not represent ‘job done’ as the MSC will continue to lead a process whereby this evidence is explored further to continue to understand what’s causing these things to go wrong, and finally what can be done to prevent the avoidable/suppressible incidents. Ultimately this publication provides the platform for evidence based decision making which will directly contribute to safer hunting in New Zealand and a safer hunting community.

52

‘...the MSC will lead a process to further explore the evidence...’


Data Sources The data collected and analysed by the MSC, which is used within this publication, can be grouped into four main categories:

Each dataset has been supplied to the MSC by a partner organisation. These partners have continued to be involved in the analysis and presentation stages of the project.

• Injuries • Search and Rescues • Fatalities • Participation

The data supplied has been handled in accordance with strict confidentiality and privacy standards. No identifiable personal information is contained within this publication.

The table below represents the specific data sources and relevant date ranges. As each data source covers a slightly different length of time it’s important to keep this in mind when viewing the information presented in this publication. Where necessary we have used annualised averages or compared data in a way that accurately portrays information spanning varying time periods.

Data

Data Range Start

Data Range End

Dataset Time frame

Data source

Injury

01/01/2004

31/03/2016

12.25 years

Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC)

Search and rescue

01/07/2010

30/06/2015

5 years

NZ Search and Rescue Council (NZSAR)

Fatality

01/06/2007

30/06/2016

9 years

Ministry of Justice - Coronial Services Unit

Fish and Game Licences

2015

2016

1 year (season)

Fish and Game New Zealand

DOC hunting Permits

01/07/2015

30/06/2016

1 year

Department of Conservation (DOC)

Active NZ survey

2013

2014

1 year

Sport New Zealand

International Visitor Survey

01/01/2015

31/12/2015

1 year

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) with analysis from Tourism NZ

New Zealand population

2013 Census

November 2016 population N/A estimation

Statistics New Zealand

MSC non-intentional firearms incidents

01/01/2008

30/06/2016

8.5 years

New Zealand Mountain Safety Council (MSC)

Mistaken for game shootings (misidentified target)

01/01/1979

30/06/2016

37.5 Years

New Zealand Mountain Safety Council (MSC), NZ Police and Ministry of Justice - Coronial Services Unit

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Hunter type By nature, New Zealand hunters often hunt multiple species using multiple methods in any given year. Each method is best suited to a different environment and presents specific risks which may or may not be present in other hunting environments. To gain further insight into the incidents experienced by hunters, we have separated hunting into six distinct hunting types based on the type of environment and method of hunting that each hunter is exposed to. In order to determine the hunting type categories, we facilitated a workshop with partners from the hunting sector and drew on their knowledge of New Zealand hunting participation to ensure we fully understood the types of hunting in New Zealand.

Big game hunting

The daytime pursuit of any medium or large game animal found outside of the alpine environment in forested, broken or open country.

Game bird hunting

The pursuit of any game bird; inclusive of ducks, upland bird species or any other bird species which is legal to hunt in New Zealand.

Pig hunting

The pursuit of wild pigs through the use of trained pig-hunting dogs to locate and capture.

Alpine hunting

The daytime pursuit of any medium or large game animal that lives primarily in an alpine environment.

Small game hunting

The pursuit of any small game animal during daylight hours.

Night hunting

The pursuit of any game animal after dark and before dawn with the aid of a spotlight, torch, natural moonlight or any other piece of equipment the allows the hunter to see game in the dark.

54


Injuries ACC has supplied data relating to injury claims. This data was acquired after the successful completion of an ACC ethics approval process. This data includes all claims from people who have sought medical attention after their hunting injury. Regardless of the person’s nationality, if they sought medical attention their claim is included, so this data represents all injury claims from both New Zealand and international hunters hunting in New Zealand.

Classification of Injuries related to Hunting Type

Hunting records are further subdivided into alpine, big game, game bird, pig, small game and night hunting. This process was completed using advanced analytical search tools which isolated specific keywords in each hunting injury claim relevant to each hunting type, and grouped those together to allow us to view all injuries by hunting type. In order to do this, an extensive list of key words were identified for each type of hunting. Using this method, only records that clearly related to one of the hunting types were used. If a record did not contain enough information to assign it to one type of hunting it was classified as ‘undefined’. If a record tested positive for two or more hunting types, a hierarchy was applied and the type of hunting highest up the hierarchy would determine the hunting type classification.

Removal of injury data which was incorrectly classified as Huntingrelated

The classifications used are:

Archery; Blister; Carrying heavy load; Dog or pig bite; Falling; Firearm handling injury; Firearm malfunction; Flashback; Firearm proximity injury; Hearing loss; Horn or antler injury; Insect bite/sting; Knife wound; Plant; Shot - including ricochet; Twisted or sprained knee or ankle; Vehicle; Wire injury; Other dog-related injury; Other cut or puncture; Other dental injury; Other eye injury; Other arm injury; Other head or face injury; Other hip, leg or foot injury; Other; Unidentified.

Classification of Firearms-related hunting injuries

A keyword search of all hunting injury data was applied to extract all firearm related injuries. All firearms-related incidents within the Injury, Fatality and MSC records were classified into one of the following options: • SHOT SELF (self-inflicted gunshot wound while hunting) • HANDLING (injured while discharging firearm but not shot) • PROXIMITY (injured as a result of being in close proximity to a firearm being discharged) • SHOT OTHER (victim sustained a gunshot wound but it was not self-inflicted or the result of another person mistaking them for game) • MALFUNCTION (injured as a result of a firearm malfunctioning at time of discharge)

• MISIDENTIFICATION (victim sustained a gunshot wound as the result of another person mistaking them for game) To ensure we only analysed relevant injuries, we read almost every injury claim. Along with the advanced keyword analytical search, we identified some injuries that did not meet • UNKNOWN (enough information to know that the victim was injured by a firearm, however not enough information to the criteria to be considered as relevant to hunting. classify as definitively one of the above) Examples of this include ‘horse hunting’ (which is an equine horse riding event which does not involve actual hunting), range shooting and trapping. These injuries were excluded from the dataset. This process left N=12,628 records across all hunting injuries.

Reduction of injury data duplication

Any overlap between ACC and MSC firearm-related injuries was filtered out of the MSC data, but overlap between ACC and SAR or fatalities was not filtered. This means some injury claims would have involved a search and rescue, and vice versa.

We separated these injuries into two categories: • Gunshot Wound - A serious firearm-related injury where an individual is shot or impacted by a projectile causing harm in a hunting setting. • Other firearm-related injuries – An injury sustained as a direct result of the discharge of a firearm, not including gunshot wound. All firearm-related injuries were manually classified based on what caused the injury.

Classification of Injury type

Injuries were classified using keywords in the accident description field.

NZ Hunting Insights developed by the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council - 2017

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Search and rescues

Fatalities

This dataset is provided by the New Zealand Search and Rescue Council (NZSAR). The NZSAR Data Store combines all the operational search and rescue data from NZ Police and the Rescue Co-ordination Centre (RCC).

1) Research-based access agreement with the National Coronial Information System (NCIS). The NCIS is an internet-based data storage and retrieval system for Australian and New Zealand coronial cases. All closed coronial cases in NZ have been entered into the NCIS database since 1 June 2007.

This data includes all hunting search and rescues regardless of who/how they were conducted (i.e. LandSAR volunteers, police personnel or direct helicopter extractions.) All search and rescues in the outdoors involving mental health (suicide, dementia), and searches for children were also removed. Search and rescue operations can involve multiple people. In order to extract the most meaningful data from these multiperson events each event has been isolated and analysed, for example if three hunters were involved in a search and rescue this event was included as three separate data entries.

This data has been acquired through several different sources:

2) Direct support from the NZ Coronial Services Unit, part of the Ministry of Justice, approved by New Zealand’s Chief Coroner. This includes both open and closed coronial cases. 3) Historical records and coroner’s reports held by the NZ Mountain Safety Council (MSC) 4) Cooperation with the New Zealand Police to supply information which was missing from Coronial files and MSC data.

This allowed for the important demographic information such as gender, age and ethnicity/nationality to be extracted for each person involved in the SAR event.

Several important business rules were applied to this dataset to identify and isolate hunting fatalities relevant to the MSC’s mandate. This includes the removal of:

For this publication, analysis is limited to the activity of hunting. Records are further subdivided into alpine, big game and pig hunting based on the activity information in each individual record.

• Natural cause, suicide (mental health) and intentional fatalities e.g. a heart attack while hunting or a homicide involving a firearm; • Fatalities involving a person engaged in an activity through a commercial operation e.g. hunting with a professional guide. To ensure all fatalities were relevant to the MSC’s mandate each Coronial case file was individually reviewed to ensure it met the relevant criteria.

Misidentified target shootings In order to get a more accurate and statistically-significant analysis of this specific issue, we extended our data period to include as many incidents as possible. This started with the 64 records which have been held by MSC and NZ Police over the 37.5-year period since 1 January 1979. Out of these 64 misidentified shooting incidents, detailed information for 58 incidents was available. Information was contributed by NZ Coronial Services Unit, NZ Police and the MSC, and was then correlated to create a dataset focussing specifically on the individuals who pulled the trigger (the shooter) and further pertinent circumstances relating to each incident.

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Participation Participation data used as part of this project was sourced from four datasets: • The Sport NZ Active NZ Survey (domestic hunters only) • The Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) International Visitor Survey (international hunters only) • Department of Conservation (hunting Permit data) • New Zealand Fish and Game (Game Licences) This publication contains hunter participation and demographic information based on all four of these independent datasets.

Active NZ Survey (ANZS)

This data was collected using specific survey questions identifying participation. This publication uses the data for those who identified themselves as having active participation (in the last 12 months) in hunting (included deerstalking/ pig hunting). The population of interest for ANZS is the New Zealand resident population aged 16 years and over. The survey was carried out over 12 months (April 2013 to March 2014) and involved 6,448 respondents. Results then went through a weighting process to align with population information from the 2013 census. Confidence intervals for ANZS have been calculated at the 95% level, which means that 19 times out of 20 we expect the true value to be within the lower and upper intervals.

MBIE international visitor survey International visitor participation data from MBIE’s International Visitor Survey conducted in March, June, September and December 2015 was used.

Fish and Game New Zealand

All Game Licences issued in the 2015-16 duck shooting season were used. All fishing Licences have been removed.

DOC hunting Permits

Hunting Permits issued between 1 July 2015 and 30 June 2016 were used. Each transaction was counted once regardless of how many different Permits were obtained so the figurers shown reflect the number of hunters who obtained Permits, not the number of Permits issued. However, if a hunter obtained their Permit in more than one transaction they would have been counted each time they completed a separate Permit transaction.

NZ Hunting Insights developed by the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council - 2017

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#MakeItHomeNZ mountainsafety.org.nz

avalanche.net.nz

- Published 2017 -

Made possible with the support of the following partners:

New Zealand Mountain Safety Council info@mountainsafety.org.nz 04 385 7162 Ground Floor, 86 Customhouse Quay

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Wellington 6011 / PO Box 6027, Wellington 6141

A Hunter's tale  

Developed by the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council (MSC) A Hunter's Tale represents the most comprehensive exploration of hunting particip...

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