With the ‘roar’ season fast approaching, the Game Animal Council is advising hunters to be well prepared ahead of their autumn hunting trips.
After the 2020 season was interrupted due to the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown, hunters are looking forward to this year’s roar.
“The good news is with another 12 months to mature there will be some really high-quality stags out there and some great hunting to be had,” said GAC general manager Tim Gale.
“However, the roar period also presents extra risk, so we are reminding hunters to take the necessary precautions to have a safe and successful trip.
“Preparation for a hunt is essential – make sure you give your gear a good check over before you go, know what to expect weather-wise by checking the long-range weather forecast, always carry hardcopy maps to supplement whatever electronic navigational aids you use and leave your intentions (including when you expect to return) with a reliable contact.”
Communication with the outside world can be difficult when in the backcountry, so at the very least hunters are advised to carry a personal locator beacon and know how to use it. With New Zealand conditions so changeable, it is also important that hunters respect the things out of their control, such as weather and river levels and wait things out if necessary.
“When it comes to firearms safety, it is critical to identify your target carefully and beyond all doubt, treat every firearm as loaded and make sure the person carrying the rifle is responsible for checking it is unloaded and safe. I also strongly recommend wearing high-vis or blaze clothing. Orange blaze is extremely vivid to the human eye, yet deer do not pick it up so wearing it should not hamper your hunting opportunities.
“Finally, there will be a lot of people in the hills, particularly over the Easter period, so be mindful of other hunting parties as well as other backcountry users and while we hope to get through the roar without any further lockdowns, make sure you follow all the COVID-19 guidelines and continue with your contact tracing,” said Gale.
For more information, visit GAC’s website.