We’ve collected a few planning and safety resources to help you better plan your trip.
There are a number of online tools for the kiwi hunter looking to head out into the wilderness.
Department of Conservation (DOC)
Hunters contribute to controlling animal populations - DOC has some great resources for hunters looking to find new public hunting grounds. http://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/things-to-do/hunting/.
This site is also a great resource to get your hunting licence, find out about access and any restrictions (such as no dogs, or closures at different peak seasons).
The Department of Conservation online map http://maps.doc.govt.nz/mapviewer/index.html?viewer=dto is a great resource to find huts, tracks and public hunting land. Check the ‘public hunting land’ box on the left hand menu and the map overlays all public hunting land in New Zealand. If you want to see the topo map then click on the right hand icon and slide the tool bar for transparency.
Topomaps & Walking Access Maps
In our opinion, one of the best map resources is www.topomap.co.nz it allows you to switch between Satellite and Topo maps. There is also a TopoMap app that you can download onto smart phones and use offline.
You can also use Walking Access Maps http://wams.org.nz/wams_desktop/index.aspx as another free online resource.
Note: not all the roads shown on these sites are public roads.
Metservice.co.nz a useful site for getting a general idea of what’s happening in the area you are looking to hunt in – see Metservice.co.nz.
It goes without saying, safety is really important in the kiwi outdoors and the ability to communicate can really make the difference.
Personal Location Beacons
This relatively inexpensive piece of kit can save your life.If you don’t have one, you can always hire them. Here’s a link to places that rent them out http://www.locatorbeacons.co.nz/hireoutlets.aspx – the local hunting store usually has them, or knows where to get them from.
A couple of tips for using beacons:
The Mountain Radio is a great service if you are out for a while and want to maintain a life link to the outside world – they provide a regular weather forecast and the ability to call out when needed.
Canterbury Mountain Radio (South Island & Stewart Island)
There are a few other services available – see ‘other providers’ on the Wellington Mountain Radio website.
Mountain Safety Council & Big Game Hunting are sharing a series of hunter safety videos. Big Game Hunting are running a competition over at their Facebook page. Check out the first two videos below...
Safety Tip 1: Treat every firearm as loaded
Safety Tip 2: Always point firearm in a safe direction
It’s an exciting time of year, stay safe, identify your targets and good hunting!