In a move to enhance the skills and safety of New Zealand hunters, the free-to-use e-learning platform, Better Hunting, was unveiled at the 2023 Sika Show.
Developed by the Game Animal Council and supported through funding by Jobs for Nature, Better Hunting is designed to provide comprehensive online training for hunters across the country.
“Better hunting is designed to help new and inexperienced hunters be safe and successful, recognise their responsibilities as hunters, understand modern New Zealand game animal management principles and play a positive role in supporting the conservation of our native species,” said Game Animal Council general manager Tim Gale.
The course is made up of 28 separate modules, covering important aspects of hunting, such as navigation, weather forecasting, outdoors safety, firearms safety and technique, game animal management, harvesting mahinga kai, and conservation. Gale said the modules not only provide useful information but are interactive and require participants to complete a short quiz to complete.
“Traditionally there has been a gap for new hunters between getting a firearms licence and learning all the skills needed to hunt safely and successfully,” said Gale.
“Better Hunting is designed to fill that theory gap and assist inexperienced hunters to gain a reasonable foundation of knowledge before taking the next step into practical training and practice.”
With the sole objective of helping hunters learn and improve their skills and knowledge, Better Hunting is entirely free to use.
Developer Larry Blair underscores the platform’s accessibility, stating, “Better Hunting has been built to be used on a laptop, tablet, or phone. Courses can be downloaded for offline use through the free app as well. Learners can simply create an account and get into the 28 individual learning modules as well as skill-building games, digital trip intentions, ballot calendars and more. The platform saves your progress as you go so you can dip in and out as often as you like.”
Acknowledging the collaborative effort behind Better Hunting, Gale said, “We were fortunate to have significant contributions from more than 20 other organisations, including government agencies, hunting sector organisations, and outdoor safety experts. We are very grateful for their help and support and also wish to acknowledge the many hunters who helped us with the pilot testing phase.
“Better Hunting is a platform developed for New Zealand hunters, by New Zealand hunters so whether you are a recreational hunter, aspiring commercial hunter, or in to harvesting fresh wild game meat for your family and community, you will find plenty to learn on the platform.”
For more information, visit betterhunting.nz.