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Source: Department of Conservation

Date:  13 April 2022

While we encourage them to get out there and enjoy their hunting, DOC wants to remind hunters to make sure they share the backcountry, including huts and tracks, safely and are mindful of others.

While hunters will make up a significant proportion of backcountry users over the roar period, DOC visitor safety manager Andy Roberts says that particularly during the weekends and upcoming public holidays there will be plenty of others who are also enjoying outdoor experiences.

Being considerate and remembering there may be other people around is really important.

“All visitors to the public conservation estate are expected to keep huts clean and tidy and take home any rubbish. If hunters are getting up early to head out hunting or returning late at night, keep quiet if others are sleeping – the same things we expect of all users.

“Firearms and dead animals are a hunting reality and managing these things is something hunters should pay attention to because they can be quite intimidating to some people,” Andy says.

“You absolutely must follow the Arms Code – always unload your firearms before reaching a hut and never leave firearms unattended. If there are other users in the hut, you may wish to explain these safety procedures to them.”

“And simply don’t pull the trigger, regardless of how nice a set of antlers it is, if you are in the vicinity of huts, tracks, campsites and road-ends.”

“If your hunt is successful, please make sure any carcasses are well away from tracks, huts, campsites and waterways where other people may come into contact with them.”

“Don’t forget before you go on your roar trip to get a Hunting Permit and abide by its conditions. Hunting during the hours of darkness is prohibited, permission to cross any private land must be obtained from the landowner or occupier and make sure to check your local dog restrictions.”

None of this advice should be new to hunters, the vast majority of whom are responsible users of the backcountry.

“We absolutely want hunters to get out into the hills this autumn, enjoy the New Zealand roar hunting experience and help manage our deer populations, but we want them to make sure they do it safely and considerately.

“The Game Animal Council, NZ Deerstalkers Association and Mountain Safety Council all have valuable information to offer hunters and we strongly endorse the outdoor safety messages these agencies are providing,” Andy says.

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