Certainly, if you are a younger (or older) hunter, it’s going to be an easy correlation to make that the point of hunting is that big headed stag. Interestingly, social media has likely helped push this – as pages are full of submitted images of hunters successful kill. People love seeing themselves, so therefore this becomes a reinforcing mechanism that also creates the pressure to get a roaring stag this time of year.
I would pick, anyone only hunting for meat has either already been out prior to the roar (when most stags will be at their prime in preparation) or will wait until things settle down again before heading out.
I would pick you only really hear about guys drinking in Maimais around Duck Season? Logically?
In fact, sadly, for a lot of media outlets, the only time you hear about safety is when there is an incident or it’s the Roar – then you get your obligatory safety messages. The rest of the time, though, not so much.
Drinking in Maimai’s.
Drinking in huts in the evenings and then going out hunting ‘feeling a little shady’ the next day.
Stag, Stag do’s (can you think of a more volatile setup of Alchohol and Testosterone?)
This whole half cock thing.
Multiple people in a hunting party carrying firearms – potentially loaded firearms. People shooting over and around another party member because they saw an animal.
Recoil like it is some form of man badge.
Choosing a calibre way too much for the intended hunting (300 Winmag for bush Sika? Seen it done).
Buying totally unsuitable firearms for hunting (an SKS for a first gun, really?)
Poor security of firearms (sitting in the back of the truck, left around the house).
Poor maintenance of firearms (the first shot will clear out the barrel mate!)
Carry loaded firearms in vehicles, on quads.
The yobbo’s that shoot at track and road signs.
Snap shooting at animals.
Long range hunting (you only hear about the successes).
Using animals as target practice.
The attitude that ‘it’s the way my dad did it, it’s the way I do it’ – rather than being open to changing understanding and technologies.
A lack of practical testing for firearms licences – how can anyone, anyone justify that as best practice anymore?
This weird concept that it must be the weekend warrior ‘townie’ hunters that get into trouble – when previous incident reports would indicate the exact opposite.
I am aware, because of what I do, I am a little more attuned to ‘hearing’ these comments and stories. And to keep things in perspective, compared to other pastimes, we don’t have that many issues. But the media attention anything gets can blow things way out of proportion and the availability heuristic kicks in for many people.
What amazes me is that people have physically threatened me because I pointed out poor trigger discipline to people. Why does someone who is willing to use physical force as a negotiation point get a firearms licence? Ego, ego and more ego.
Don’t worry – she’ll be right mate!