Going hunting? Get prepared before you go

Going hunting? Get prepared before you go

Every year, thousands of Kiwi hunters head into bush, up hills and across ridge lines. But without quality training and preparation, hunters can sustain severe injuries with potentially long-lasting consequences. 

Check out our tips and resources to keep on top of your trip planning and fitness  so you can set yourself up for a safe and successful hunt, whatever the season.

Prepare for your hunt

The planning you do from home will make all the difference for when you are in the bush. If you are going solo, take items to help you contact help if something goes wrong. If you are going as a group, get everyone together and make sure you all agree on the plan.

Get yourself ready

Heading for a hunt into the New Zealand's bush takes skills, even if it is a short day hunt on a local property.

  • Get your body ready - you will last longer in the bush and prevent common injuries such as back and ankles while carrying heavy gear/ game
  • Understand the firearms rules - make sure you are licenced and understand the 7 Basic Firearms Safety Rules to keep you and your fellow hunters safe.
  • Have the skills to stay safe - As you head off track, through variable terrain and encounter risks, basic navigation, river safety and basic first aid are essential skills to the average hunter. You can find all these topics here.

Stag during Roar

During Your Trip

You made it! Now is time for the payoff. Make the most of it and get home safe with these top tips for on the day: 

Have a hmmm before you jump in.
It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of the hunt but make sure to slow it down, pay extra care to your route selection, watch your footing and be aware of terrain traps like bluffs. 

Discuss your plan every day.
Touch base with your mates each morning, and keep an eye on the weather. 

Pack your essentials.
Always bring a rain jacket, warm layers, beanie and gloves, map, compass, emergency shelter, first aid kit and emergency communications device. 

Watch out for mental shortcuts aka heuristic traps.
Use active decision-making and consider factors which might be influencing you, like only making a call because you’re worried you won’t have another chance. At the end of the day, the #1 goal should always be getting home safe. 

Download our guide here

Have a hmmm

‘Have a hmmm’ is a constructive challenge: take action to avoid injury and keep yourself, your whānau, friends and community safe and well by improving hunters’ safety and reducing preventable injuries.  

  • Research the area and have a backup plan
  • Check the weather and be prepared for it to change
  • Pack a rain jacket and shelter just in case
  • Tell a mate your plans before you go
  • Check in with your mates regularly
  • Take a map and keep track of your movements
  • Watch your footing and take your time

  • Plan My Walk - New personalised gear list + custom track features support all trip plans. Complete the trip plan by adding in the trip dates and group members, then sharing with your emergency contact.  
  • NZ Land Safety Code - Brush up on the basics ahead of any trip. 
  • Read Josh's story - Hunting fitness: an honest conversation with yourself.
  • Subscribe to hunting newsletter - Stay up to date with all our hunting tips and insights.