© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2021

'Buck Fever' big issue for hunters safety

deer .jpg
Roaring red stag  Creative Commons

Hunters need to be certain that a deer is in their sights, not a person - as they grapple with 'buck fever'.

With the hunting season underway, High Peak's Director of Hunting Simon Guild said hunters who are desperate for a kill often have their mind play tricks on them - known as 'buck fever'.

He said hunters can't use camouflage as an excuse for misidentification, as you're not supposed to be shooting at trees or bushes.

"Do you shoot at trees? Do you shoot at bushes? No you don't, you're shooting at animals."

Police said consequences for hunters who fail to identify their target could be catastrophic and tragic.

Police have growing safety concerns over the number of hunting related incidents spiking at this time of year.

Acting Superintendent Mike McIlraith said hunters need to keep themselves and others safe.

"There is a general perception that the misidentified target incidents are across a valley, several hundred metres away, when in actually they aren’t.”

The Mountain Safety Council’s research shows 92% of misidentified target incidents are less than 75m apart.