Area Prevention Manager, Acting Inspector Paul Reeves, says it’s all about hunters looking after themselves and their companions.
“We want to ensure hunters enjoy themselves and come home safely,” he says.
Police also want to ensure the hunting is legal and there will be a number of operations run throughout the district during the roar, also around poaching.
Police reminds hunters to follow the Arms Code and seven basic rules of safe firearms handling:
- TREAT EVERY FIREARM AS LOADED - Check every firearm yourself and only pass or accept an open or unloaded firearm.
- ALWAYS POINT FIREARMS IN A SAFE DIRECTION – Whether the firearm is loaded or unloaded, always point the muzzle in a safe direction.
- LOAD A FIREARM ONLY WHEN READY TO FIRE - Only load the magazine after you reach your shooting area. Load the chamber only when ready to shoot and completely unload before leaving the shooting area.
- IDENTIFY YOUR TARGET BEYOND ALL DOUBT - Movement, colour, sound and shape can all deceive you.
- CHECK YOUR FIRING ZONE - THINK! What may happen if you miss your target? What might you hit between you and the target or beyond?
- STORE FIREARMS AND AMMUNITION SAFELY - When not in use, lock away the bolt, firearm and ammunition separately. Never leave firearms in a vehicle that is unattended.
- AVOID ALCOHOL AND DRUGS WHEN HANDLING FIREARMS - Good judgement is the key to safe use of firearms.
Mr Reeves says if there is any doubt about the target, do not shoot. The Arms Code outlines the circumstances under which it is not safe to fire:
- Do not fire at movement only
- Do not fire at colour only
- Do not fire at sound only
- Do not fire at shape only
Poaching will also be a focus this year for Police Mr Reeves says.
“Poaching is illegal and penalties have increased. Last year there were concerns raised by residents and land owners in Lees Valley which resulted in a number of prosecutions.”
The maximum penalty for illegal hunting is 2 years imprisonment and $100,000 fine.
“Hunters need to ensure they obtain permission from the land owner or permits from the Department of Conservation.”