Duck Hunting Safety Tips from Fish & Game and Federated Farmers


Good bird populations and relaxed Covid-19 restrictions mean this duck hunting season looks set to be the best in years, according to Fish and Game New Zealand.

The new season officially opens at 6:45 a.m. Saturday.

Fish and Game NZ acting chief executive Brian Anderton said game bird hunters have plenty to be excited about this season.

“After past summer conditions, that means there are plenty of ducks, and with more relaxed Covid-19 restrictions, this season looks to be the best in years,” Anderton said.

“With Mountain Safety Council, we want to see a successful and safe season for everyone and encourage hunters to make the most of this season, bringing wild food and themselves home safely.”

As always, hunters were reminded to follow the seven basic rules of gun safety, he said.

• Treat every firearm as loaded
• Always point firearms in a safe direction
• Only load a firearm when you are ready to fire
• Identify your target without a doubt
• Check your shooting area
• Store firearms and ammunition safely
• Avoid alcohol or drugs when handling firearms

Federated Farmers health and safety spokeswoman Karen Williams said hunters should remember to ask permission before entering private land.

“Have fun for sure – ‘Opening Day’ is a long-awaited tradition for tens of thousands of New Zealanders. But stay responsible and keep everyone safe.

“Vehicles, firearms and water remain the main risks for duck hunters and mixed with a rush of adrenaline, they can be deadly.”

Farmers and other landowners were willing to have hunters on their properties, but that access was a privilege, she said.

It was also important for hunters to remember that there were new rules for carrying firearms.

“There is a general exemption from transport requirements for farmers who work, actively hunt or undertake pest control on their own farm, but you must meet the new requirements if shooting elsewhere over the weekend, just like recreational hunters. who move to shoot. at your house.

“When transported on the road, firearms must be inoperable, out of sight and far from any ammunition.

“If you can’t easily disassemble the firearm and store a vital part elsewhere, a trigger lock (which can include your bicycle lock) or putting it in a locked gun box will meet the requirements.”

Ammunition should be enclosed in the glove box if possible, but for large, bulky boxes of shotgun ammunition, out of sight and away from the firearm will meet the requirements, she said.

“Have safe fun with your friends and family so we can all continue to enjoy this great rural tradition.”