Support the Guardian

Available for everyone, funded by readers

Think safety during the roar

Think safety during the roar

Hunters out to bag a trophy, or meat for the table, during the roar are urged to take extra care to avoid accidents.

Rakaia New Zealand Deerstalkers Association secretary Perry Costen said hunters had a lot of adrenalin flowing during the roar and that increased the risk of making poor decisions.

The main safety protocol to remember would be to identify the target beyond all reasonable doubt.

"It's the number one safety rule at any time of the year - but especially now.

"With modern technology and imitation roarers you need to be sure it's a deer and not another hunter," he said.

You need to be aware of other people - and other users sharing the backcountry - not just hunters.

Costen recommended hunters ensure they have a hunting permit, wear blaze (bright orange or similar) camouflage and stick to the seven firearm safety rules.

When carrying a deer, the recommendation was to carry the head upside down or put a high viz vest or blaze camouflage on the head, he said.

Game Animal Council general manager Tim Gale said hunters could significantly reduce their risk with the right planning and preparation for their hunts - including carrying the right clothing and equipment, checking the forecast, taking a personal locator beacon and leaving detailed intentions with friends or family.

Once out on the hill, your safety and the safety of other hunters relies on making good decisions, he said.

“Ensure you know your limits and are aware of the limits of those in your party, and be mindful of changing weather conditions and river levels as well as the physical impact of heat or cold.

“Make a plan for where you will hunt, share that with others in your party and any other hunters you may come across. This not only helps everyone stay safe but also means you don’t impact each other’s hunting."

Gale encouraged hunters to use the free hunter education programme at in their roar preparations. It includes 29 training modules and other useful resources for hunters, such as a hunt planner, intentions form and multi-map tool.

By Sharon Davis