Whether you're new to hunting, or are a stalwart with a rifle, it's important to keep the New Zealand Firearms Safety Code at the front of your mind when preparing for an taking part in a hunt.
Here's a little reminder of the seven basic rules for firearm safety:
The Firearms Safety Code:
1. Treat every firearm as loaded
- Check every firearm yourself.
- Pass or accept only an open or unloaded firearm.
2. Always point firearms in a safe direction
- Loaded or unloaded, always point the muzzle in a safe direction.
3. Load a firearm only when ready to fire
- Load the magazine only when you reach your shooting area.
- Load the chamber only when ready to shoot.
- Completely unload before leaving the shooting area.
4. Identify your target beyond all doubt
- Movement, colour, sound and shape can all deceive you.
- Assume colour, shape, sound, and shape to be human until proven otherwise.
5. Check your firing zone
- THINK: What may happen if you miss your target?
- What might you hit between you and the target or beyond?
- Do not fire when you know others are in your firing zone.
6. Store firearms and ammunition safely
- When not in use, lock away the bolt, firearm and ammunition separately.
- Never leave firearms in a vehicle that is unattended.
7. Avoid alcohol or drugs when handling firearms
- Good judgement is the key to safe use of firearms.
Want to know more? Check out the New Zealand Mountain Safety website.