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May 2009
 
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Safe hunting courses commended

Map reading and bush craft skills are an essential element of hunting.

The Sport and Recreation Council (SPARC) has commended a partnership of New Zealand Police, the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council and the New Zealand Deerstalkers Association (NZDA) for work designed to reduce the number of hunting incidents.

The Hunter Training Programme (HUNTS) provides an opportunity for new and existing hunters to learn and develop the skills required to hunt safely and successfully in the New Zealand outdoors.

The programme is delivered regionally by volunteer instructors. These instructors pass a formal assessment and qualification process and achieve an industry award to become HUNTS Instructors.

 

“The programme has been an outstanding success with around 200 trainees graduating last year,” says Inspector Joe Green Manager Licensing and Vetting, PNHQ.

Steve Graf shows HUNTS participants how to cleanly skin and dress a game animal.

Photos: Mike Spray, NZ Mountain Safety Council

Research undertaken by Joe in 2003 indicated that the only non-intentional death and injury caused by firearm came about as a result of hunters accidentally shooting each other. Research also indicated belonging to a club and undergoing training mitigated the risk. (www.police.govt.nz/services/firearms)

The course is also having benefits for the partners. “NZDA Branches, particularly those who have held a HUNTS course have seen a marked increase in membership,” Joe says.

“However, it is new and existing hunters and the wider New Zealand community who have benefited the most.
“More people are participating more often and safely in sound hunting practices as a direct result of HUNTS.”

 

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