The number of duck shooting incidents is small, but the accidents are horrific.

With duck shooters finally getting out last weekend, the message from the Mountain Safety Council is don't have firearms loaded when you aren't using them.

Chief executive Mike Daisley said they were seeing complacency throughout the country.

"People have been duck shooting for many years and have been doing the same activity for a while," he said. "They leave firearms leaning, loaded and ready to go. Nothing's happened for decades, so why would you change?"


This complacency is the target of an advertising campaign focused on putting bad habits to bed. Data shows basic gun safety could bring the number of accidents down from to zero.

"Every single one of those incidents in the last couple of years could've been prevented if people just followed the rules and paid more attention," Daisley said.

The incidents range from complacency where people haven't been paying attention and where people are in a rush.

"We see some firearms injuries from the butt of the shotgun getting them in the face. They're literally jumping so fast to take a shot they're not even putting it against their shoulder.

"They're jumping to the front of the maimai when a friend or family member is there. The shotgun goes off right by their face and they get flash burns, instant blindness, and instant hearing loss.

"People can lose their ears off the side of the face. It's just people being in too much of a hurry to get to the front of the maimai."

The Mountain Safety Council says the demographic shown in the advertisement is no accident and it's asking friends and family to call out those not following the rules, putting hunters in as much risk as the ducks.

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