A 21-year-old man is recovering in hospital after being shot across his back by another member of his hunting party.
The incident is a reminder to all hunters about the importance of following the seven cardinal rules of the Arms Code, and also a reminder that no hunting trophy is worth having to live with the consequences of killing a mate.
The small group of friends were hunting in the Nukuhou area of Whakatane at approximately 9.30pm on Saturday night (11 April). The victim and a friend went to retrieve a deer they had shot.
Initial enquiries suggest that another member of their party mistook the victim for a deer and fired his rifle striking the victim on his shoulder blade.
Police are currently investigating the incident.
All hunters are reminded to familiarise themselves with the following Arms Code rules. Not following this basic advice could lead to the loss of a firearms licence and criminal charges. Even worse a failure to adhere to the rules could result in your living with the knowledge that you killed or serious injured a friend or fellow hunter.
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 alcohol and drugs when handling firearms