Fish & Game hails hunters' safe start to duck season

  • 8/05/2018

Fish & Game hails hunters' safe start to duck season

Hunters are being praised for their safe start to the game bird hunting season, with no injuries over the Opening Weekend.

The 2018 game bird hunting season opened on Saturday, May 5, and runs through to the end of August.

Around 40,000 people take part in the popular pursuit, hoping to bag a duck to put on the family table.

Research shows 41 percent of game bird hunting injuries occur over the first weekend, with 64 percent happening in May. 

This year, no incidents have been reported from anywhere in the country for Opening Weekend. 

Fish and Game, Mountain Safety, Water Safety NZ and police combined their efforts this year to promote safety, saying it was the top priority for all hunters during the four month season.

The safety message was also pushed in many regions by joint patrols of Fish & Game rangers and police.

Fish and Game is delighted Opening Weekend has been incident free.

“Congratulations go out to all our licenceholders for a job well done,” says Fish and Game Communications Manager Don Rood.

“Achieving a zero result for injuries is a superb effort and we are pleased that hunters have obviously listened to the safety messages and made appropriate changes in their behaviour. 

“All credit to them – they should be proud of this result.”

GB OPENING NC Opening day36The last duck hunting fatality was in 2015 and Mountain Safety Chief Executive Mike Daisley welcomes the “zero accident” result for Opening Weekend.

“We're very happy that the season has got off to a great start safety wise.

“There's a long way to go of course, but to come through Opening Weekend without a fatality for several years running is really encouraging," Mike Daisley says.

Mr Daisley is urging hunters to continue the safety focus for the rest of the season.

"We encourage all game bird hunters to remain vigilant with their safety procedures in line with the firearms safety rules. Prioritise making it home to your family." 

Water Safety NZ has also been pushing the safety message, saying it is not only firearms which pose a threat to game bird hunters.

Water Safety New Zealand CEO Jonty Mills is urging hunters to take care around water, especially when hunters are using boats or kayaks to travel to their maimais or retrieve waterfowl.


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