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Source: New Zealand Mountain Safety Council (MSC)  

You can teach an old dog new tricks as the NZ Mountain Safety Council (MSC) has proven through its hugely successful multi-year duck shooting firearms safety campaign.


Over the last four years MSC has run a firearms safety campaign each duck shooting season targeting the opening weekend of the much-anticipated season. After the release of a new emotive safety video in May 2020, MSC identified a further decrease in firearmsrelated safety incidents, the lowest since reliable records began in 2004. 

This Saturday (1 May) marks this season’s duck shooting Opening Weekend and MSC hope the positive trends in reduced safety incidents are maintained.  

MSC Chief Executive Mike Daisley said traditionally duck shooting season is one of the biggest events on the hunting calendar, however, every year some hunters find themselves experiencing firearmsrelated incidents in the maimai. 

“Last year’s figures are very encouraging because it shows duck hunters are thinking about their behaviour around firearms and recognising the safety impacts of bad habits,” Daisley said. 

The video campaign, which was a finalist the 2020 TVNZ NZ Marketing Awards, follows a father and son who head out to the maimai for a day of duck shooting.   

However, the son leaves early after his father refuses to unload his gun and turn on the safety as they break for a cup of tea.  

The aim of the video was to encourage firearms-related behaviour changes during duck shooting season. 

“Let old habits die, not your mates” has proven to be success as for the first time since reliable records began in 2004, the 2020 season did not yield a single person being shot by another duck hunter, or by themselves. 

Daisley said quite often it’s a generational barrier that drives old habits, and the video hopes to get hunters thinking about their own habits to make changes where needed.   

“We want hunters to be safe and enjoy duck shooting season, but we want them to do it safely.”

Click here for the duck shooting safety video and imagery.

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.