Safety is our collective responsibility. It is up to every participant to ensure the future for firearms users in New Zealand. We do this by following the arms code and keeping yourself and everyone else safe while using firearms. A key part of being a safe hunter is fully understanding and mitigating the risks around firearms.
There are over 190,000 (local and visiting) hunters who participate in New Zealand each year.– A Hunter's Tale, 2017
The first thing to remember is that every trip needs a plan. It doesn't take much to turn a short trip into an 'unexpected night out' in the bush. If you've planned before you hit the track using the outdoor safety code as a guide, there's a good chance you'll be prepared to handle an unexpected turn of events.
Safety is the outcome of good planning and good decision making– Mike Daisley, MSC CEO
Whether it is on the range, or out in the bush, people need to be extremely aware of themselves and their surroundings at all times. People using firearms for all types of New Zealand hunting have to encounter various forms of terrain, situations and other people while carrying a deadly weapon. Whether you are new to the game or a experienced with firearms, a small lapse in concentration can be fatal.
Other than firearms mechanically failing, preventable incidents involving firearms are most likely the result of someone breaking one of the Seven Basic Firearms Safety Rules. These rules were generated as a means for hunters to keep themselves and others safe while handling firearms and should always be followed.
45% of hunting-related fatalities involve a firearm.– A Hunter's Tale, 2017
The vast majority of firearms related incidents can be traced back to one or many of the firearms safety code not being followed. Regardless of how experienced you are following the firearms safety code is essential to the safety of you and your fellow hunters.
Don't hesitate to call your mates out if they're not handling their firearm safely. Safety is everyone's responsibility.
If you see someone using firearms in an unsafe manner (putting themselves or others at risk), you have the right to tell them to stop.
To learn more about your firearm and all of it’s functions, talk to a gunsmith or local hunting store clerk.
Available free online in English and Te Reo, this guide was developed with key delegates in the NZ hunter safety sector of New Zealand and unpacks what the Seven Basic rules mean for a hunter in NZ. This guide has been developed to help you plan your trip. It's available to read and download for FREE.
Click the cover to read it online
We've also produced a Te Reo version below
We've got a range of videos that explore the latest research from 'A Hunter's Tale' produced with Hunters Club. Below is the first clip about Big Game Hunting.
Head directly to the Hunting Playlist HERE
Whether you are after big game, pigs or birds we have specific insights and information you need for your favourite form of hunting.
We partner with key groups to help get the message out. Watch and share them with your mates and you'll be helping us make New Zealand safer with firearms.
These insights explore the causes, effects and trends in firearms safety for hunters in NZ -
There is further information on Firearms Safety Courses and Whakatupato Courses on our Course Page.
With all firearms pursuits there is a good case in favour of getting involved with an appropriate club. Whether your interest is collecting firearms, target shooting or hunting it will be to your advantage to belong to a club catering for your particular interest. The members of these clubs are enthusiasts who can pass on valuable information. See our clubs page.
Check out our Bowhunting activity page.
We have various items to help you with the following from our online store.
MSC encourages exploration and adventure in the incredible wilderness regions of New Zealand. We encourage you to participate, get out there and see what all the fuss is about. New Zealand is on the bucket list of so many people around the world for good reason.
We also encourage safe practices that ensure you make it home to your family and friends. We want you to make it home with adventurous stories, memories and photos. But, most of all we want you to make it home to do it all again next time. That's why on every advertisement, press release, video and resource we reaffirm our intent to help the 1.2 Million+ participants in outdoor recreation to make it home. You can help us spread this philosophy by sharing our resources and following the outdoor safety code so you make it home.– Mike Daisley, CEO
Learn more about licensing processes
Department of Conservation
Information about the species you wish to hunt and the DOC areas of land to explore.
Walking Access Commission
Get permission to go hunting on the land before you head out.
Explore our insights
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Read Outdoor Safety Code
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Stay Connected with our Hunting Facebook Page
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