Big game hunters are those who are hunting for medium to large game animals. This includes all deer species, goats, wallaby and opportune wild pigs. This hunter type makes up the largest number of hunters in New Zealand and includes those that regard themselves as deerstalkers or bush hunters.
More hunters take part in big game hunting than any other form of hunting, so it’s not surprising that they have the largest number of incidents. With respect to the ‘Roar,’ hunting behaviour appears to change and the rate of injury, search and rescue and fatality increases. There is a possible correlation between this behavioural change and increased frequency of participation in concentrated areas of the country. These areas may require higher risk techniques and may be under different conditions than at other times of the year.
Department of Conservation - Find out more about the species you are targeting, the permits you need and much more here.
NZ Police - Information on the Arms Code and licensing here.
The first thing to remember is that every trip needs a plan. It doesn't take much to turn a short walk into an 'unexpected night out' in the bush. If you've planned before you hit the track using the outdoor safety code as a guide, there's a good chance you'll be prepared to handle an unexpected turn of events.
Safety is the outcome of good planning and good decision making– Mike Daisley, MSC CEO
The vast majority of firearms related incidents can be traced back to one or many of the firearms safety code not being followed. Regardless of how experienced you are, following the firearms safety code is essential to the safety of you and your fellow hunters.
Don't hesitate to call your mates out if they're not handling their firearm safely. Safety is everyone's responsibility.
Developed by the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council (MSC) 'A Hunter's Tale' represents the most comprehensive exploration of hunting participation and incidents in New Zealand. Building on the success of There and Back (2016) this publication represents the first in a series of comprehensive ‘deep dives’ and explores hunting and firearms safety through the presentation of key insights. A Hunter's Tale focusses on trends in participation, hunting related injuries, search and rescues as well as fatalities. The data presented in this document provides a comprehensive evidence base that clearly identifies what is going wrong for hunters in the New Zealand outdoors.
Click the cover to read
Insights - Big Game Hunting
57% of all big game hunting search and rescues are in the North Island. Waikato has the highest incident rate, closely followed by the Bay Of Plenty.– A Hunter's Tale, 2017
88% of big game fatalities in the North Island involved a firearm, in the South Island it's 29%– A Hunter's Tale, 2017
'Misidentification' of the target remains the highest individual cause (5) of fatalities for big game hunters. 'Drowning' (3) and 'Accidentally Shot Self' (3) are second equal. (06/07 - 06/16)– A Hunter's Tale, 2017
This guide has been developed to help you plan your trip. It's available to read and download for FREE. To read click on the image below.
Click the cover to read it online
We've also produced a Te Reo version below
New Zealand weather is very changeable. Even if you set out in the sunshine and there is no rain in the forecast it's not uncommon to have an isolated shower. Make sure you take rain protection and extra layers you can put on if it gets cold. Having the right supplies means that you're more likely to remain warm, comfortable and safe for the duration of your trip.
Wear the right fabrics. Clothing only retains what heat your body produces. Certain fabrics wick moisture away from the body and retain warmth. Avoid cotton clothing – when cotton gets wet it ceases to insulate you. Wet and cold clothing significantly contributes to hypothermia. Wear colours that contrast to your environment.
There are a few safety essentials you should have with you (or tick off the list) when you're out hunting
Communication devices in groups are key, as well as,
Tell someone your plans before you go and take a communication device
MSC Press Releases
Explore our insights
Read Outdoor Safety Code
Find out more
Department of Conservation - You can find out more about the species you are targeting, the permits you need and much more here.
NZ Police - Understand more about firearms safety, getting licensed and the rules here.
Walking Access Permission - Learn about getting access to private land and the key things you need to do before you go here.