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THE HUNTERS' CODE

 

The ALPINE HUNTERS' CODE

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Always treat EVERY firearm EVERY time as if it is loaded!

* Safety is the most important issue and at all times members must act in a safe manner and make sure that their equipment is working properly. (If you are unsafe we will tell you, if you don't listen you will be sent home and probably thrown out of our Club).

* Firearms must always be treated as if they are loaded even when they are not! (This rule has saved many lives and the "I thought it was unloaded" firearm has cost far too many).

* Under no circumstances should firearms (loaded or otherwise!) be pointed in an unsafe direction. (ie. never at a person or anything else that would cause you concern if your firearm was to accidentally discharge. Generally, the best position to point a firearm is in the air [or down range if you are on the shooting mound at the range] in a direction away from yourself and other people).

* Military or target bullets must not be used on large game animals. (ie Hunters must not risk wounding game).

* Ensure your barrel is clear prior inserting the rifle bolt. (ie clear of wasps, mud, water, oil and projectiles etc).

* Only insert your bolt into your rifle when you are hunting or if at the range, when you have been given the order to do so. (A rifle without a bolt is a harmless lump of steel).

* Never carry ammunition that is not suitable for the firearm you are using. (ie You may accidentally load it!)

* Safety catches don't work - don't ever rely on them as the primary safety mechanism. (ie After no sleep and climbing up mountains to the point of exhaustion it is easy to forget if the safety switch is on or off). It is usually best to have an empty chamber - loading at the point of firing and then once loaded the safety engaged - noting that regardless of the status of your firearm, it is always carried and used as if it is fully loaded.

* Keep your finger (pointed straight) to the side of your trigger guard until the instant you have a target and wish to discharge your firearm. (ie Even the army has problems because this rule is not followed).

* Mistakes happen - we have all made them - however, accidental discharge only causes sore ears if firearms are pointed in a safe direction.

* You will never fire at any animal or target that you have not properly identified. (ie Shooting at movement, sounds, colour, or shapes will result in instant dismissal from our Club and Police notification).

* You will never shoot at anything unless you know what is behind the target, you have a proper kill zone and an adequate calibre. (ie Hunters aim to kill humanely, not wound and lose. Also shooting over a hill or ridge is dangerous and extremely foolhardy).

* Hunters never shoot a rifle skywards. (Shotguns are for shooting birds).

* Prior to returning to camp or when walking on a road make sure that the bolt of your rifle has been removed.

* On returning to camp or a vehicle make sure that you have cleared your rifle and if possible get someone else to clear your rifle (shown the bolt to be extracted, and the breach clear of rounds) prior to its safe and secure storage.

* Hunters sight their rifles in at a shooting range, never during the hunt. (ie Nothing is more likely to scare game away.) If your scope can't hold its zero while travelling in a shooting case, then borrow or buy one that will.

* On Club hunts, firearms are only ever discharged for hunting purposes. (ie Society has a right to 'public peace' and unnecessary noise scares game).

* Hunters follow each and every legal instruction issued by the property owner without question. This rule especially applies when hunting on public property.

* Hunters pay for any damage they cause, accidental or otherwise, without the property owner asking.

* If a Club member introduces you to a hunting spot it is their spot. If you go back to that spot you ask them if they wish to return with you and you don't introduce other hunters to that spot without the introducing member's knowledge and permission.

* If someone takes you hunting, you return the favour.

* If someone shows you a good hunting spot, you show them one of your good hunting spots. If you don't have any use the Club's maps or 'google earth' to find one.

* Club hunts are about camping together and hunting separately. If no one offers to hunt with you, ask the Team Leader where you can hunt and do so by yourself.

* Firearms, hunting, alcohol and drugs don't mix. (By all means have a social drink around the camp fire, however, only after all firearms are safely stored away and never to a level that makes you 'hung-over' for the next days hunt or drive home).

* On Club hunts Group costs are to be shared, without the Team leader having to ask.

* If an animal is wounded on a Club hunt then everybody assists with the search.

* If an animal is taken on a Club hunt then everybody assists with the 'carry out'. (This is how new hunters learn 'secret' spots.)

* On a Club hunt if you are hunting in someone else's spot you tell them about the sign or game you have seen.

* On Club hunts each person is to prepare a Group meal or undertake other such activity as the Hunt Team Leader directs.

* Club hunts are for hunting, not having a party and / or getting drunk or using drugs etc. (Club BBQs are where you have a party, and members using illegal drugs or drinking excessively on Club hunts will be asked to leave the hunt).

* Club members should not verbally or otherwise abuse other members and members are to keep their views and opinions to themselves unless they are asked. (Club hunts are about hunting, not politics, showing how smart you are or giving unwelcome advice).

* Club members have a low tolerance for swearing especially in the presence of children and females. (The Club aims to built the calibre of its members and the status of hunting as a whole.)

* Good hunters are physically fit and they are also expert marksmen. A missed shot claims no game and a poorly placed shot is even worse. ie Lost game combined with cruelty. (Don't turn up on a hunt out of condition and unpractised - participation in field rifle shooting competitions is highly desirable).

* When hunting large and or dangerous game, bullet placement is just as important as adequate calibre. (If you gut shoot or miss the vitals on a Deer you will lose it - if you gut shoot or miss the vitals on a Buffalo your family will most likely lose you!)

* Learn to use a knife safely. Never ever cut towards any part of your body. (The major cause of injury on Alpine hunts are hunters cutting themselves during meat processing! Falling over is the second main cause of injury).

* A true hunter only takes what they need or culls when it is necessary. (Hunting is about sustainable management not destruction and waste).

* Leave nothing but your thanks. (Leave plenty of game for your friends, don't put glass, plastic or metal in the camp fire and take all your rubbish back home - that's why you pay council rates).