Game bird hunting in New Zealand is a long-loved tradition for many hunters. It involves the pursuit of waterfowl and upload game birds during legal seasons of the year. One particular event is the Duck Hunting Season, in which hunters call in and shoot ducks from maimais. Firearms safety in this form of hunting is essential as many hunters in close proximity and rapid reactions to appearance of game.
For the 2020 Duck Hunting Season we developed a video to promote awareness of safe habits during this hunting season.
Did you know?
You are 8x more likely to sustain a firearms related injury while Game Bird hunting than any other hunting type.– A Hunter's Tale, 2017
Few other outdoor recreational activities in New Zealand have such a dramatic increase in participation as occurs during the opening morning of duck hunting season. This massive increase in participation unfortunately produces a corresponding increase in the rate of incidents. However, it’s the nature of many of these injuries that is of serious concern. It is quite clear that duck hunters sustain firearm related injuries when in close proximity to each other.
Standing shoulder-to-shoulder in a maimai creates a situation where correct muzzle control and firing zone management are very important firearm safety fundamentals to maintain in what can be challenging conditions. The injuries that occur during duck hunting season indicate a large number of ‘close calls’ occur. It’s often luck that has prevented many of these incidents from becoming a fatality.
Almost all firearms related hunting incidents relate back to one of the 7 Basic Firearms Safety rules. This is especially important in Game Bird Hunting where multiple shooters of various skill level are using shotguns at once. Also play by the rules by getting your season licence.
Communicate with each other on the status of your firearm and help reduce the risk of an incident.
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.
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41% of game bird hunting injuries occur on opening weekend.– A Hunter's Tale, 2017
Fish and Game NZ - Get your permit and regional information for Game Bird Hunting