Deer hunters urged to be 'roar ready' this autumn

Hunters are advised to treat every firearm as loaded.
Hunters are advised to treat every firearm as loaded. Photo credit: Getty

Deer hunters are being urged to be well prepared ahead of this year's 'roar' and put safety first. 

Tim Gale, general manager of the Game Animal Council New Zealand (GAC), says hunters are champing at the bit to get out shooting this autumn, after a disappointing season last year. 

"Hunters are extremely excited about this year's deer roar," Gale says on Monday.

"The 2020 roar was interrupted by the level 4 lockdown meaning most people missed out on the best hunting of the year."

Now, with high numbers of people expected to head out into the backcountry - particularly over the Easter period - Gale is warning hunters to be mindful of others and only shoot when a target has been identified "beyond all doubt".

"The good news is with another 12 months to mature there will be some really high-quality stags out there and some great hunting to be had. However, the roar period also presents extra risk so we are reminding hunters to take the necessary precautions to have a safe and successful trip."

Gale advises hunters to treat every firearm as loaded and to make sure the person carrying the rifle is responsible for checking it is unloaded and safe.

He says high-vis or blaze clothing was also recommended.

"Orange blaze is extremely vivid to the human eye yet deer do not pick it up so wearing it should not hamper your hunting opportunities."

As well as making sure to check the weather forecast, Gale also advises hunters to carry at least one personal locator beacon.

"With New Zealand conditions so changeable it is also important that hunters respect the things out of their control, such as weather and river levels, and wait things out if necessary."