There is a difference between a hunter and a shooter in the Hills: hunters stalk, shooters talk. Be aware that overseas visitors will likely not associate someone with a rifle with recreation and so may view an armed tramper, or hunter, with alarm; take the time to reassure them and share your sport with them.
In and round the hut, keep your rifle unloaded, with the bolt open, or removed. Even when it is disarmed, always keep your rifle pointed in a safe direction. Unload your rifle before you get to camp.
Never hunt, or spotlight near a track: spotlighting is, at any rate, illegal on public conservation lands.
Remember – it is always the responsibility of the hunter to clearly identify the target: no meat is infinitely better than no mate. While other hunters may well be dressed in hi-viz attire, remember that most trampers will not be.
Rifles have almost nothing in common with ice-axes and cannot be used as such.
Never touch a rifle that doesn’t belong to you without first asking permission.
The 7 basic rules for firearms
- Treat every firearm as loaded
- Always point firearms in a safe direction
- Load a firearm only when ready to fire
- Identify your target beyond all doubt
- Check your firing zone
- Store firearms and ammunition safely
- Avoid alcohol and drugs when handling firearms
See the Firearms Code on the Police website for an informative explanation of these rules.
As a rule of thumb, you have identified your target beyond all doubt when you can see the head, neck and shoulders all at the same time.