A new free-to-use e-learning platform designed for rookie and inexperienced hunters by the Game Animal Council was released last week.
The platform is expected to better equip hunters across Wairarapa and the rest of New Zealand.
In the lead-up to New Zealand’s peak hunting months of February to August, the platform developed for Kiwi hunters by Kiwi hunters and called Better Hunting, aims to provide free online training on the fundamentals of hunting and hunter safety.
New Zealand has a long-established recreational hunting tradition that was derived from the wild game animal population brought in specifically for sport after European settlers arrived, and the Wairarapa region offers popular hunting terrains for locals and outsiders, such as the Tararua, Remutaka, and Aorangi forest parks.
Game Animal Council general manager Tim Gale said Better Hunting is designed to help new and inexperienced hunters to be safe and successful, recognise their responsibilities as hunters, understand modern New Zealand game animal management principles, and play a positive role in supporting the conservation of our native species.
“Traditionally there has been a gap for new hunters between getting a firearms licence and learning all the skills needed to hunt safely and successfully,” Gale said.
“Better Hunting is designed to fill that theory gap and assist inexperienced hunters to gain a reasonable foundation of knowledge before taking the next step into practical training and practice.”
The online course involves 28 separate modules, covering various features such as navigation, weather forecasting, outdoors safety, firearms safety and technique, game animal management, harvesting kai, and conservation.
“While the Game Animal Council is ultimately responsible for the development of Better Hunting, we were fortunate to have significant contributions from more than 20 other organisations, including government agencies, hunting sector organisations, and outdoor safety experts,” Gale said.
“We are very grateful for their help and support and also wish to acknowledge the many hunters that helped us with the pilot testing phase.”
According to developer Larry Blair, Better Hunting has been built to be used on a laptop, tablet or phone, and courses can be downloaded for offline use through the free app as well.
The modules also include skill-building games, digital trip intentions, and ballot calendars, he said, and allow you to save your progress as you go.
To access Better Hunting, visit www.betterhunting.nz