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Source: New Zealand Mountain Safety Council (MSC)

Predicted to be the biggest Easter hunting weekend in recent years, NZ Mountain Safety Council (MSC) wants hunters to have a fun and successful weekend but cautions hunters ‘don’t skip the safety steps.

A unique combination of events is aligning in what could be a once-in-a-lifetime situation for hunters across New Zealand. The annual Roar has begun, after effectively being off limits last year due to the Covid-19 lockdown, combined with four days away from the office, and a relatively settled weather pattern, it’s going to be a busy weekend, MSC Chief Executive Mike Daisley says.

MSC is urging hunters to ‘be the hunter your mates want to hunt with’. It’s latest hunting safety campaign and video, “Same Hunt, Different Story. Your Call“, focuses on two hunters and their conflicting planning and preparation pre-trip with the aim of encouraging solid preparation before heading out. 

“For a whole Roar to be cancelled (2020), having had no hunters out and essentially zero deer shot, that’s a situation we’ve never had before, to have a whole season gone is unprecedented. This Roar is going to be very busy, and Easter weekend is likely to be at the peak of that,” Daisley says.  

“While firearms safety is a really important part of hunting, there’s very clear insights that show the vast majority of safety incidents relate to other topics like inadequate fitness, navigation errors, insufficient planning and preparation, not carrying the right gear and decision making about whether to push on or turn around,” Daisley says. 

Daisley hopes to see a reduction in Roar related incidents this season after the campaign push.  
“Good preparation will always lead to better outcomes, whether incidents arise or not. Get out there and enjoy the autumn backcountry, but don’t skip the safety stuff,” Daisley says. 

MetService says most of the country looks to be in for relatively settled yet cool conditions, while the West Coast and southern New Zealand will see some rain and possible snow. 

MetService meteorologist Lewis Ferris says, “on Friday there is a very fast-moving front approaching from the southwest which zooms up the country. This brings a burst of gusty southwesterly winds and some showers with the risk of snow about the southern hills,” he says. 

Winds could pose an issue in the southern hills on Sunday and Monday thanks to a high-pressure system in the north.

“But those planning a trip to the southwest of the South Island could be in for a few periods of rain throughout the weekend.”   

MSC encourages hunters to always carry basic safety equipment, regardless of the weather forecast: 
– a waterproof jacket  
– top and bottom warm layers 
– a head torch 
– always wear blaze 
– an emergency shelter 
– a first aid kit 
– a suitable communications device (such as a Personal Locater Beacon) 

Find the Same Hunt, Different Story. Your Call videos on MSC’s YouTube playlist here. 

MSC encourage the placement of the video in media articles as a method to help support safety this hunting season. Find photos and the video here 

Read the latest MSC hunting-related stories here: 

Mountain Safety Council has been working for more than 50 years to encourage safe participation in land-based outdoor activities throughout New Zealand. They do 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.