Eastern Bay hunters urged to make plans ahead of long weekend

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Firearms safety is just one of many things hunters should keep in mind this weekend, before heading out in the Roar.

Mountain Safety Council has urged all hunters heading off into Eastern Bay forests to prepare and plan for any trip being made this Easter.

The message has been extended to campers, day walkers and backcountry trampers.

MSC says to enjoy your time in the outdoors, whether in the Roar, tramping or hiking, but also be responsible.

CEO Mike Daisley says the unique alignment of this year's Easter Break means more people are likely to be spending time in the outdoors and this is problematic due to the season's historical reputation for outdoor incidents.

MSC’s insights from ‘A Walk in the Park’ show there’s a spike in tramping incidents for Easter and ANZAC.

During Easter trampers are 1.9 times more likely to injure themselves than the daily average, while at ANZAC the rate sits at 1.8 — with about 150 tramping injuries reported between Good Friday and ANZAC Day.

In addition about 19-26 trampers will require Search and Rescue Assistance.

April is also the biggest month for hunting related Search and Rescue incidents and injuries. Mountain Safety Council expects a weekly average of about seven search and rescue incidents with more than 35 injuries.

Mike says it’s also a common time of year for getting caught in what he describes as an ‘unexpected night out’.

“Because of the remote nature of the bush in the Eastern Bay of Plenty we find we have more people getting lost, or taking longer to get to their destination then they expected.

“The forests are quite dense and for us this translates into seeing more than just firearms incidents.

“People who hadn’t expected to go camping and find themselves trying to take shelter under a fern leaf or something overnight in the rain.”

He says it’s to be expected, with many people visiting places they’ve never been before along with the unstable autumn weather patterns.

“We are pushing this year, particularly to hunters, if you are heading out this Easter — get a plan together. If you’re in a group, make sure everyone knows the plan, make sure you know where one another is, stick to the plan and don’t deviate from it.”

He says it’s important to let someone who is not on the trip know your plans and intentions too.

Sam Gardner