Police in collaboration with the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council (MSC) have launched a campaign to remind hunters to always identify their target beyond all doubt in a bid to avoid a repeat of last year’s tragedies.
During last year’s Roar, the time when male deer become more active, three hunting fatalities occurred as a result of hunters not following one or more of the seven basic rules of firearms safety. All three deaths were preventable. In the majority of fatal hunting accidents, the shooter and the victim were in the same party and the shooter knew their companion was in the area. As well as following the Firearms Safety Code, Police and MSC recommend hunters buddy up with their companions and remember to:
stay in visual contact with each other when hunting in the same area
stop hunting if visual contact is lost
re-establish visual contact before continuing to hunt.
The 'no meat is better than no mate' slogan which features in print and web adverts is a clear reminder of the tragic consequences of not identifying your target beyond all doubt. Trade Me is among a number of organisations supporting the initiative by placing banners on its website.
The key messages are:
follow the 7 basic rules of firearms safety (also known as the Firearms Safety Code)
identify your target beyond all doubt
when hunting with companions, stop if visual contact is lost and do not resume until visual contact is re-established
no meat is better than no mate
plan and prepare for a safe hunting trip - use the Outdoor Safety Code as a guide
complete your outdoors intentions, before you go, so someone you trust can raise the alert if you don’t return.