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Hunters warned after second shooting death

16:53 Mon Apr 30 2012
The death of a second hunter in a shooting accident this month has prompted calls for heightened firearms safety
The death of a second hunter in a shooting accident this month has prompted calls for heightened firearms safety (Thinkstock)

Hunters have been told to be certain they know what they're shooting at after the second fatal shooting this month.

Mark Richard Vanderley, 26, a builder from the Palmerston area in Otago, was shot dead by a mate on a remote farm in northern Southland early on Sunday.

Earlier this month 29-year-old Aucklander Cam McDonald was shot in the head by a fellow hunter in Aorangi Forest Park in Wairarapa.

Mountain Safety Council's Mike Spray says both deaths need not have happened if the hunters had taken time to correctly identify their targets.

"Identifying your target beyond all doubt is one of the seven basic rules of firearms safety and all hunters should be very familiar with this rule," said Mr Spray, the organisation's firearms and hunter training programme manager.

He warned against hunters getting caught up in the heat of the moment and forgetting to follow the rules.

"Hunters need to be aware of what is termed buck fever, recognise it and counter it with logical thought."

Mr Spray said all hunter deaths were avoidable and with the roar continuing and the duck shooting season starting on Saturday all hunters needed to take care.

"If there is any doubt do not shoot. No meat is better than no mate," he said.

Police continue to investigate Mr Vanderley's death and a post-mortem examination will be completed in Invercargill on Monday afternoon.

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