Autumn has arrived and as the climate cools hunters will start tracking into the bush for the roar.
Rural Women New Zealand in collaboration with Council of Licenced Firearms Owners (COLFO) would like all hunters to take extra care this roar. Don’t forget to take with you a personal locator beacon (PLB) as they are an essential part of your safety kit if things go wrong.
Rural Women New Zealand President Wendy McGowan says, “More and more of our rural women are obtaining firearms licences and are out there hunting and gathering as well. Firearms licencing nationally is on the increase and our women are a part of the reason why.”
“We want to see everyone home safely this roar, no more grieving families please.
“Every year there are injuries or fatalities involving firearms and now is a good time for users to remind themselves of some of the basic safety rules,” advises McGowan.
Council of Licenced Firearms Owners (COLFO) Chairman Paul Clark reminds hunters of their responsibilities towards safe handling and security of the firearms before, during and after their hunt. “A firearms licenced owner’s responsibility does not end at the taking of their game, it ends when the firearm has been safely and securely stored away.”
COLFO are aware of the increase in firearms licences being issued to women. Clark suggests “It is well known that women generally learn handling and shooting skills quicker and are often consistent with this.” He goes on to add “The adrenaline rush that most males get while hunting during the roar appears to have less of an effect on most women hunters.”
Clark and McGowan both agree, “Full freezers, healthy eating and happy households this roar is the ultimate goal.”
THE FIREARMS SAFETY CODE: Seven Basic Rules of Safe Firearms Handling
1. TREAT EVERY FIREARM AS LOADED
- Check every firearm yourself.
- Pass or accept only an open or unloaded firearm.
2. ALWAYS POINT FIREARMS IN A SAFE DIRECTION
- Loaded or unloaded, always point the muzzle in a safe direction.
3. LOAD A FIREARM ONLY WHEN READY TO FIRE
- Load the magazine only when you reach your shooting area.
- Load the chamber only when ready to shoot.
- Completely unload before leaving the shooting area.
4. IDENTIFY YOUR TARGET BEYOND ALL DOUBT
- Movement, colour, sound and shape can all deceive you.
- Assume colour, shape, sound, and shape to be human until proven otherwise.
5. CHECK YOUR FIRING ZONE
- THINK! What may happen if you miss your target? What might you hit between you and the target or beyond?
- Do not fire when you know others are in your firing zone.
6. STORE FIREARMS AND AMMUNITION SAFELY
- When not in use, lock away the bolt, firearm and ammunition separately.
- Never leave firearms in a vehicle that is unattended.
7. AVOID ALCOHOL AND DRUGS WHEN HANDLING FIREARMS
- Good judgement is the key to safe use of firearms.
For further safety information refer to the Council of Licenced Firearms Owners.
Photo credit: Jason Searle.