Pig hunters appear to have a very good safety record right up until a pig has been ‘bailed’ or caught by their dogs. Nearly all pig hunting fatalities occurred as a result of a hunter trying to reach their dogs. Elevated adrenaline and the urgency to reach their dogs / the pig seems to greatly increase the rate of injury, getting lost and fatality. There are times where pig hunters are taking additional risks that they normally wouldn’t consider doing, or may have managed differently in hindsight.
A key learning from our research is that pig hunters should be particularly aware of their emotional response and adrenaline levels when they catch a pig. It’s wise to remember that the ‘bailed pig’ scenario is a high octane, high-risk arena often in close quarters. Any endeavour to calmly make logical level-headed decisions is likely to dramatically reduce the likelihood of a serious incident.
Watch as we uncover key risks and ways to mitigate them with the NZ Hunter's Club:
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Did you know?
14% of injuries to pig hunters are from dog or pig bites.
– A Hunter's Tale, 2017
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What are the risks?
A Hunter's Tale
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.
Read the story
Prepare for your hunt
Click below and explore the ways to prepare for your hunt.
Take a first aid kit that is geared around stopping blood.
- A comfortable pack - load your kill carefully on your shoulders and take your time
- A pack liner for keeping your gear dry and use as an emergency shelter
- A map of the area and a compass, and know how to use them
- A communication device for the outdoors. Mobile phones can have limited coverage in most outdoor locations
- A basic survival kit
- A basic first aid kit with any personal medication you may need
- Clean and bright blaze gear - Wearing blaze is not an insurance policy, but contrasting with your environment is a good safety principle.
- Food and water - always prepare for a potential night out or an extra long day
- Torch/ headtorch - the chase can often lead to a walk back in the dark
- A basic hunting gear list can be downloaded as part of our FREE online tool:
Begin Plan My Trip
- Are you feeling up to it? You need to be in top physical condition to make sure you are able to handle your firearm, traverse the terrain, make smart decisions and make it home again. Don't go hungover, tired, in poor weather or when you are already injured.
- Do you know how to cross rivers and tough terrain? Chasing a target can take you to some pretty tough areas of the country. Train up, learn river safety techniques and hunt in an area you feel comfortable. Carrying firearms across rivers and tough areas need to be considered.
- 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
- They are medically and mentally up for the task - seeing, hearing, fitness etc.
- They know how to safely operate the firearm they are using
- They practice safe shooting by always following the 7 Basic Firearms Rules
- They are not under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- They know what to do in an emergency situation
- You all understand who is shooting and when.
- How will you communicate? Explore options for outdoor communication options both for an emergency situation, as well as within your own hunting group.
NZ Police - Understand more about firearms safety, getting licensed and the rules here.
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Department of Conservation - You can find out more about the species you are targeting, the permits you need and much more here.
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