Duck Hunting: Let bad habits die, not your mates

Duck hunters are preparing for opening weekend this weekend. Image and video supplied.

In the lead up to the opening weekend of duck shooting season the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council have released a new video campaign that zeroes in on hunter safety ‘Let bad habits die, not your mates’.

This year opening weekend is more symbolic than usual. For duck shooters it has been a restless wait, through lockdown, into Level 3 and then the eventual good news that the season was going ahead.

In the early hours of Saturday, May 23, thousands of New Zealanders will head out before dawn to their maimai.

For some it will be as close as their own farm, for others the pilgrimage will take them home to regions across the country.

MSC Chief Executive Mike Daisley says their primary focus heading into this much anticipated season is to continue to see a downward trend in firearms related incidents.

“In 2016 we identified a peak in firearms incidents with 22 occurring during that season alone. This peak was the culmination of a three-year increasing trend and led us in 2017 to implement a targeted video safety campaign known as ‘Early Bird’.

“Off the back of that campaign we’ve seen incidents drop for two consecutive years. We want to keep that momentum going and continue to engage hunters with important safety messaging in relevant ways which is why we committed to another video campaign in 2020.”

As well as focussing on firearm storage and handling, this particular campaign video challenges some of the old-school attitudes hunters can have towards operating a firearm.

“The call to action this year ‘let bad habits die, not your mates’ is designed to stimulate the thought process, we want duck shooters to be thinking about their habits, their actions in the maimai, and how they alone have the safety of others in their hands."

You can watch the 60 second video at above. A special longer version directors cut is also available here.

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