Hunter in Ashburton Lakes area.
Image: Jack Mace | ©


Hunters and trampers heading into the outdoors are encouraged to be considerate of others over the busy Easter period.

Date:  05 April 2023

With hunters out to bag a stag during the roar and trampers making the most of the upcoming long weekend, those heading into the outdoors are encouraged to be considerate of others over the busy Easter period.

People planning a trip in areas affected by Cyclone Gabrielle and other recent storm events should check the DOC website for the latest updates on any damage and closures.

DOC Visitor Safety Spokesperson Andy Roberts says a range of storm impacts could affect people’s plans including loss of access due to roads, bridges and tracks being compromised and a likelihood of encountering more natural hazards such as debris in waterways or landslides.

Andy Roberts says while hunters will make up a significant proportion of backcountry users during the roar, there will be plenty of others who are also enjoying outdoor experiences, particularly during the weekends and upcoming public holidays.

“All visitors to public conservation areas are expected to keep huts clean and tidy and take home any rubbish. If people are getting up early to head out or returning late at night, they are asked to keep quiet if others are sleeping.

“Firearms and dead animals are a part of hunting, but they can be quite intimidating for some people, so we ask hunters to think about how they manage these.

“Hunters absolutely must follow the Firearms Safety Code. Always unload your firearms before reaching a hut and never leave firearms unattended. If there are other users in the hut, you may wish to explain these safety procedures to them.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s the best stag you’ve ever seen – do not pull the trigger if you’re in the vicinity of huts, tracks, campsites and road-ends.”

He says hunting during the hours of darkness is prohibited, permission to cross any private land must be obtained from the landowner or occupier, and any restrictions around hunting dogs should be followed. 

“If your hunt is successful, please make sure any carcasses are well away from tracks, huts, campsites and waterways where other people may come into contact with them.” 

Andy Roberts says an important part of a safe and successful hunt is good planning, including getting a hunting permit if heading out onto public conservation land, and respecting the wishes of private landowners around access arrangements.

“A quick search of the Check it's alright website for the location you will be hunting at will show if there are any fire restrictions. If fires are okay, keep any campfires small and at least 3m from vegetation. If using a gas cooker, set it up somewhere clear and stable and be careful when balancing heavy pots on top.”

DOC endorses the valuable safety information the Game Animal Council, NZ Deerstalkers Association and NZ Mountain Safety Council offer to hunters. 

Related links


For media enquiries contact:


Back to top