Small game hunting has always been an accessible hunting type and is often where many hunters start to learn basic hunting skills. Because of its relative accessibility, this type of hunting tends to attract large numbers of hunters, particularity those starting out or those who are restricted by mobility or accessibility. Similar to game bird hunting we uncovered a surprisingly high number of firearms related injuries. The details of these incidents suggest very poor firearms safety practice.
Watch as we uncover key risks and ways to mitigate them with the Hunter's Club NZ:
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.
Are you hunting with anyone else? Do you have a plan for when an animal arrives? Choose the shooter and keep the shooter in front. Communicate often verbally or via radios to keep in touch with each other's movements. Don't seperate and don't hesitate to tell them when they are being unsafe
Play by the rules
When supervising new hunters without firearms licences, you cannot operate a firearm yourself. One licence, one shooter.
Slug guns, or air rifles, must be supervised by a licence holder or someone over 18 as well, one per shooter.
Pick the right hunting buddy - We encourage you to have a great time out there with your mates, but it is your right to feel safe with the people you are hunting with.
Make sure they are licensed or are directly supervised by a licensed shooter. When supervising new hunters without firearms licences, you cannot operate a firearm yourself. One licence, one shooter.
They are medically and mentally up for the task - seeing, hearing, fitness etc.
They know how safely operate the firearm they are using
Almost all firearms related hunting incidents relate back to one of the 7 Basic Firearms Safety rules. This is especially important in Small Game hunting where you are 3.5x more likely to have a firearms handling injury than any other hunting type.