Taking a flexible approach to the Roar season

17th March 2022|3min

As the Covid-19 wave sweeps across Aotearoa, every day has a sense of the unknown and the need for flexibility. As thousands of hunters gear up for the annual Roar hunting season, this flexible approach to everyday life should be applied to ensure a safe and successful hunt, say the NZ Mountain Safety Council (MSC).

MEDIA RELEASE 17 March 2022:

MSC Chief Executive Mike Daisley says it’s about being the type of hunter your mates want to hunt with. “This means taking the time to plan and prepare accordingly and exhibit proactive decision-making when you’re out in the bush,” he says.

While most hunters typically have a safe and successful Roar season, unfortunately every year some hunters are injured or require search and rescue assistance. In most cases these incidents are preventable either through robust planning and preparation, or quality decision-making out in the bush. 

These preventable incidents have been the focus of proactive MSC safety campaigns over recent years. Their award-nominated hunting safety campaign and video, “Same Hunt, Different Story. Your Call”, focusses on highlighting two hunters’ contrasting hunting experience as a direct result of their differing preparation styles.

Many of the avoidable safety incidents MSC sees every year relate to basic skills like navigation errors, a lack of suitable fitness, not leaving your intentions with a trusted contact and failing to turn around early enough to avoid getting deeper into trouble.

“To avoid becoming one of the incident statistics, hunters should ensure they carry basic items like, a jacket, warm layered clothing, a hat and gloves and a head torch, even on day hunt. Always wear high viz clothing and be prepared for the unexpected by carrying an emergency shelter, first aid kit and a suitable communications device such as a Personal Locator Beacon alongside your mobile phone,” Daisley says.

“Each of these factors can be managed through good planning, preparation and being aware of what’s going on around you while you’re out in the bush. Carry a map, compass and GPS, get a bit of training in before you go, tell someone your plans and stay aware and vigilant while you’re out,” he says.


Notes to Journalists:

  • The peak deer hunting season between March and April sees both a spike in hunting participation and hunting incidents.
  • According to approved ACC injury claims extensively analysed by MSC, between 2013 and 2020 (8 years inclusive) there were a total of 1,459 roar hunting injuries. An average of 182 per year. The number of injures per year has remained relatively steady through this period, with a significant drop in 2020 due to Covid-19 related restrictions.
  • The highest concentration of these injuries, in order, occurred in Waikato, Canterbury, Bay of Plenty, Manawatu-Whanganui and Hawkes Bay/Gisborne.   
  • The highest percentage of injuries during the roar, compared with hunting injuries at any other time, is Southland at 39%, followed by Bay of Plenty at 36% and West Coast, Canterbury and Otago all at 34%.
  • The peak period for Roar hunting injuries is the first half of April.  

*For the purposes of data analysis the Roar season is defined as mid-March to the end of May.

MSC has an extensive range of hunting insights available. If you would like more data or statistics, or have specific questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

For more insights and data, contact Operations Manager Nathan Watson at nathan.watson@mountainsafety.org.nz

For media comment, contact MSC Chief Executive Mike Daisley at mike.daisley@mountainsafety.org.nz or 027 443 7557.