Man shot dead in hunting accident named

The young man was accidentally shot dead in the Ruahine Ranges. Photo / Supplied
The young man was accidentally shot dead in the Ruahine Ranges. Photo / Supplied

The hunter shot dead in the Ruahine Ranges yesterday was 23-year-old Danny Rion Jordan.

Police have released a photo of the scene where the young man - a soldier stationed at Linton Military camp - was shot to illustrate how easily hunting accidents can happen.

The young man, was hunting with two army friends and a dog yesterday morning when he was accidentally shot by a hunter from a separate group, police said.

A dog was also shot in the incident.

Detective sergeant Jason Crowe said Mr Jordan was shot while he and his friends were sitting on the Sparrowhawk bivouac walking track, taking a break from their tramp into their hunting area.

While most hunting accidents occurred in heavy bush or rugged terrain, this one was different in that it occurred in open bush on a DOC track used to access the Ruahine Ranges.

"The shooting is an example of what can happen when firearms safety rules are not followed and hunters don't identify their targets properly," Mr Crowe said.

Police have spoken to all involved in the incident yesterday, and are urging all hunters to exercise extreme caution when in the bush and to not to get carried away by the start of the new hunting season.

It is currently "the roar" - the season where stags are most vocal, calling out to attract mates.

This is a popular time for hunting deer, as they roar for about four weeks, from late March through to April.

A spokeswoman said a decision on what, if any, charges would be laid as a result of the shooting would not be made for some time.

Mr Jordan's body has been removed from the ranges and will undergo a post mortem today.

Police were alerted about 11.30am yesterday by a member of a hunting party who reported the man had been shot.

Defence Force chief, lieutenant general Tim Keating expressed his and the Defence Force's deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Sapper Danny Jordan.

"The NZDF is providing support as required to them and to his colleagues at Linton Military Camp."

It comes just days after a 20-year-old man shot himself in the leg during a hunting trip in Tongariro National Park.

The injured hunter, who was in a remote area of the park when the accident happened on Saturday, was flown by rescue helicopter to Waikato Hospital for treatment.

In the aftermath of the death of the soldier, Firearms Safety Specialists New Zealand spokeswoman Nicole McKee urged hunters to use the skills they were taught to prevent tragedies.

"It is about getting back to the basics of sound hunting techniques.

"We are at the start of the roar, there are more hunters using our forests over the next four to six weeks than at any other time during the year," Ms McKee said.

She said hunters should establish beyond all doubt that their target is an animal.

She reminded hunters to not be fooled by movement, colour, sound or shape while in the bush and ensure they were aware of their firing zone.

"The eyes can deceive the brain by relaying incorrect information resulting in poor judgment with tragic results," Ms McKee said.

A dog was also injured in this shooting so it was likely the shooter didn't check their firing zone, she said.

"The responsibility lies with the hunters to get themselves and others home safely. Get back to basics so the table is full of food and laughter, not tears and sympathy cards."

Big Game Hunting New Zealand recently released a series of videos demonstrating the importance of following the seven basic firearms safety rules - including one on rule number four - identifying your target beyond all doubt.

It shows how easy it is for a pair of hunters to mistakenly identify a hunter carrying a dead deer on his back as a target.

#3 Identify your target beyond all doubt

With the Easter break about to start, 1000's of hunters will be hitting the hills looking for roaring stags. Here's Video 3 in the BGH & MSC series highlighting every hunters worst fear. Mistaking another hunter for an animal... This is killing hunters every year. Please "IDENTIFY YOUR TARGET BEYOND ALL DOUBT" No one needs to die this roar..... Please share this video and make the 2016 season one to remember for NO deaths, not the other way round. Thanks to the MSC, all those that share all 6 videos in this series are in the draw to win a GPS & PLB worth $800! Turn the volume up and click HD

Posted by Big Game Hunting New Zealand on Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The firearms safety code: Seven rules of safe firearms handling:

1.Treat every firearm as loaded.

• Check every firearm yourself.

• Pass or accept only an open or unloaded firearm.

2. Always point firearms in a safe direction.

• Loaded or unloaded, always point the muzzle in a safe direction.

3. Load a firearm only when ready to fire.

• Load the magazine only when you reach your shooting area.

• Load the chamber only when ready to shoot.

• Completely unload before leaving the shooting area.

4. Identify your target beyond all doubt.

• Movement, colour, sound and shape can all deceive you.

• Assume colour, shape, sound, and shape to be human until proven otherwise.

5. Check your firing zone.

• Think! What may happen if you miss your target? What might you hit between you and the target or beyond?

• Do not fire when you know others are in your firing zone.

6. 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.

7. Avoid alcohol and drugs when handling firearms.

• Good judgement is the key to safe use of firearms.

- NZ Herald

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