New Zealand Guides Assocation Issues Statement On Helicopter Hunting


Published: November - 2008

We told you in the September issue that despite any rumors you may have heard, helicopter hunting in New Zealand is perfectly legal as long as the operator holds a concession from the New Zealand Department of Conservation and is hunting on public land or has owner permission to hunt private land. The rumor that chopper hunting is illegal seems to have emerged in the wake of a high-profile court case involving a fatal hunting accident. We told you about that incident, which involved an American hunter who slipped on a bluff exiting a helicopter during a chamois hunt in 2006. At any rate, the brouhaha over that accident and the resultant court case brought the issue of safety to the forefront. And that, apparently, is what led to a lot of loose talk about chopper hunting being banned.

In an attempt to get ahead of the curve on this issue, the New Zealand Professional Hunting Guides Association has just issued an official statement regarding the safety rules under which their members must operate these hunts. Those rules are spelled out in the NZPHGA's Safety Manual (Helicopter Operations Manual). Among the rules is a prohibition against shooting from the helicopter. The only exception is when a second shot cannot be completed from the ground to finish a wounded animal. Even then, only the guide may shoot, and he must be trained in airborne shooting.

NZPHGA's president Mike Hodder asked that we make the full text of the association's statement on helicopter-assisted hunting available to Hunting Report subscribers, and we have done that on our web site. To read it, go to www.huntingreport.com and scroll down to Reference Desk. Click on NZPHGA Statement On Helicopter Hunting. If you don't have internet access, we'll be happy to fax or snail mail a copy to you. Just call us at 305-670-1361 to request a copy. Our thanks to Hodder and NZPHGA for the information.

........(continued)

 
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