This time of year is filled with much anticipation and excitement with the build-up to the tahr and deer rutting seasons, duck Opening Day and trout spawning runs. It always reminds me of the depth and breadth of hunting activities we have available to firearms users in New Zealand – it’s a veritable paradise in hunting terms!
Each activity is unique in its practicalities with its own intricacies, traditions, gear and equipment, and all of this adds to the richness of our opportunities and experiences. The deep distant deer roar, the quiet still of the morning and sunrise as you sit in your maimai, the sizzling reel scream of a hooked fish – whatever you enjoy about this period, NZRod&Rifle are with you 100% of the way and we’ll encapsulate this through our articles and online presence. Held within the name ‘Rod&Rifle’ is our ability to bring all these pastimes under our umbrella with little restriction; we aim to showcase our hunting community in all its facets.
Implicit with the increase in activity is a need to keep ourselves and other outdoors users safe over this period. I don’t mean to sound like a broken record, but if you still head into the ngahere (forests/bush) or the maunga (mountains) without some kind of personal locator beacon (PLB) or satellite communicator, then you’re making a big mistake. Anybody, no matter how competent, can sustain an injury that prevents them from getting back to camp.
The last few years have been fatality-free in terms of misidentification incidents, but that’s no reason to let our standards drop. My personal mantra is that every noise, every roar, everything you see is another hunter until you prove without doubt it’s a game animal.
Radios are another boost to your safety – particularly when hunting in a party of several hunters. PLBs and similar devices can be hired from a number of places if you don’t have the budget to buy one outright yet.
Financially, a number of Kiwis are feeling the pinch at the moment, and with the Hawke’s Bay and other areas being so affected by the cyclone, please consider sharing your game animals out to your community to ease the burden. The more firearms owners can show that we’re an integral part of society with an important skill that can be utilised in times of deprivation, the more we can help reduce any negative stigmas attached to firearms use.
Enjoy, team, and best of luck for this amazing time of year.