19 Mar 2013

Hunting parties should halt if they split up

8:35 pm on 19 March 2013

The Mountain Safety Council believes the Firearms Safety Code could be made clearer to say that if hunting companions become separated the hunt should stop.

A coroner, Wallace Bain, has released his findings into the fatal shooting of James Dodds by his friend, Henry Worsp, south of Rotorua last September.

He has recommended the code be changed to include the rule that once hunting companions are separated the hunt stops and can only be resumed once sight of each other is confirmed.

The Mountain Safety Council's acting programme manager for firearms and hunter safety, Tracy Wakeford, says the code already says never fire when companions are ahead of the rifle, especially when a shooter has ve lost sight of them.

She says in the past three years there have been six deaths involving deer hunting, three of which were cases of people shooting their hunting mates.