Hunter safety

The New Zealand outdoors offers fantastic hunting opportunities. Anyone who intends to go hunting with a firearm must know and follow the Arms Code and the Seven Basic Rules of firearms safety. Duck hunting starts on the 7th May. Please watch our duck hunting safety video.


Did you know?

Over 195,000 hunters recreate in New Zealand each year.

A Hunter's Tale, 2017 (link is external)


The Seven Firearms Safety Rules

Rule 1: Treat every firearm as loaded
Rule 2: Always point firearms in a safe direction
Rule 3: Load a firearm only when ready to fire
Rule 4: Identify your target beyond all doubt
Rule 5: Check your firing zone
Rule 6: Store firearms and ammunition safely
Rule 7: Avoid both alcohol and drugs when handling firearms

Keep yourself safe around firearms - find out more.


Ensure the safety of you and others this Roar

As we head into Roar season, hunters are reminded of looking after the safety of themselves and their mates, and always be well prepared for each hunt.

The Mountain Safety CouncilGame Animal Council (GAC), and New Zealand Deerstalkers Association (NZDA) have guidance to help ensure the safety of you and your mates while enjoying the hunt and everyone coming home safely.

Be well prepared:

  • Assess the weather forecast – particularly for any rain and snow that could lead to a rise in river levels – and make your plans accordingly.
  • Make sure everyone has the right clothing, food and equipment for all possible conditions.
  • Take into account the experience and fitness of everyone in your party when planning your trip.
  • Know where you are going, make sure you carry a map, know how to read it and leave detailed intentions with friends and whanau.
  • Carry an emergency communication device such as a distress beacon or satellite phone.

While out hunting:

  • Involve your whole party in the decision-making and making sure everyone is comfortable with the plans being made.
  • Take firearm safety seriously, because even if you are hunting alone, it is highly likely that other hunters will be around.
  • Identify your target beyond all doubt.
  • Treat every firearm as loaded and if you are sharing a firearm, make sure the person carrying the firearm maintains responsibility for checking it is in the appropriate state of load.
  • Wearing blaze if bush hunting.
  • Also, don’t forget to check the Seven Firearms Safety Rules.

Prevent unlawful hunting

We know unlawful hunting can be a problem in our rural communities and we want to support farmers and landowners to prevent it on their land.

There are several ways we try to do this. You can visit our rural crime prevention page for advice, tips, and resources. There is also an A3 unlawful hunting poster you can download off our website and take to your local printer. For durability in outdoor weather we suggest you ask your printer to use paylite.



Helpful Information


Other useful links


Need help?

Find your local Firearms Office