Set safety in your sights this duck hunting season

Duck hunters are being urged to keep safety in their sights this gamebird hunting season.

Te Tari Pūreke – the Firearms Safety Authority and NZ Mountain Safety Council say the start of the gamebird hunting season on 6 May 2023 is the highlight of the year for most duck hunters, but it’s also a time to keep safety in mind.

Mike McIlraith, Director Partnerships, Te Tari Pūreke says, “Above all else we want duck hunters to be safe and to return home at the end of the shoot. The vast majority of duck hunters follow the seven safety rules of firearms usage and I encourage them to do the same this year.

“We are reminding people that the seven safety rules have been updated, and to make sure hunters follow the new storage and transportation requirements for firearms and ammunition. As duck hunters might travel on to social gatherings after shooting, this is especially relevant:

“If you’re driving to or from a hunting location, your firearm needs to be inoperable during your travel and concealed from view. Hunters must also make sure they have permission from the landowner or manager before they go on to any land to hunt.

“When transporting ammunition this needs to be separate to the firearm and locked in a glove box or similar storage area, if practical.”

“Please, whatever else you do, once you’ve finished using your firearm, lock it away. Never leave any firearms in your shed, home or vehicle unsecured at any time.

“Remember, there are no circumstances when firearms or ammunition can be left in a vehicle overnight.”

During storage it is now required that all ammunition is kept in a locked container. You can only store ammunition with firearms in a gun safe that has a separate lockable compartment with a different key than the key for the gun safe.

McIlraith says, “You must keep these keys separate. If your safe doesn’t have a separate lockable compartment, you need to store ammunition in its own locked secure storage container.

“As you enjoy the day, save the celebratory drinks until after you’ve finished hunting and all firearms are locked away.”

NZ Mountain Safety Council Chief Executive Mike Daisley says, “Make sure you have a good plan and discuss it with everyone invited along. Set enough time aside to check your kit including first aid kit, food and water for on the day.

“Communication is key, to check in with each other regularly, and that includes confirming firing zones. Remember that you are responsible for your own firearm at all times. Handle them safely, transport them safely and store them safely.”

Both Te Tari Pūreke and NZ Mountain Safety Council want hunters to really enjoy duck season, but we want them to do it safely.”

NZ Mountain Safety Council has pulled together a range of tips on how to have a safe and successful hunt this duck season.

Duck hunters are being urged to observe the 7 simple firearms safety rules:

1. Treat every firearm as loaded

2. Always point firearms in a safe direction

3. Chamber a cartridge only when ready to fire

4. Identify your target beyond all doubt

5. Check your firing zone

6. Store and transport firearms and ammunition safely

7. Avoid alcohol or drugs when handling firearms

/NZ Police Public Release. View in full here.