Hunting - Alpine Falls

Purpose 

The Mountain Safety Council (MSC) have identified ‘falling’ as the leading cause of incidents involving alpine hunters in New Zealand.  

The MSC has established an Issue Specific Advisory Group to consider this issue with the purpose to develop specific targeted intervention initiatives that are designed to reduce the number of alpine hunting incidents caused by falling.  

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Scope/Defining the issue 

Alpine hunting is defined as ‘The daytime pursuit of any medium or large game animal that lives primarily in an alpine environment’.

For the purposes of this focused issue, alpine hunting is specific to the South Island’s mountains, primarily encompassing terrain above the bush-line, but not exclusively as hunters may venture into the bush in pursuit of game or during their travel to/from the alpine environment. While alpine hunting does take place in a small selection of North Island locations the overwhelming majority of this type of hunting occurs in the mountains of the South Island, and this process will focus on addressing alpine hunting falling in those locations, with an expected cascading effect to all alpine hunting across NZ.  

The primary cause of incidents for alpine hunters is falling, which encompasses slipping, tripping, sliding, or losing one’s footing and ‘falling’. There are no height limitations that define what is or is not considered falling and recorded incidents include a full spectrum from small falls to large ‘over a bluff’ falls.  

Falls result in a broad range of negative outcomes, from instant fatality as the result of severe trauma through to soft tissue injuries, to small slips that only result in light sprains, soft tissue injuries and skin abrasions. Not all falls are fatal, and not all require search and rescue assistance, however, falls are the only cause of alpine hunting fatalities in the last ten years 

 

Alpine hunting is defined as ‘The daytime pursuit of any medium or large game animal that lives primarily in an alpine environment’.

Supporting evidence/Insights  

MSC’s Insights Publication A Hunter’s Tale provides an in-depth exploration of hunting participation and incidents, across all forms of hunting. Within this publication alpine hunting is specifically covered, however only a selection of alpine hunting insights was published, there is more knowledge available which was used to support the selection of this topic 

For more information please contact Adam Smith, Partnerships Advisor - Hunting

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