I am not a hunter and have never shot an animal in anger (or any other state of mind for that matter). That is my personal choice. Likewise I would never tell someone who loves nothing more than a weekend of hunting that they are wrong to do so.
The only thing that I would ask, and most hunters comply with these basic things anyway, is that they try to kill the animal as quickly as possible and that they do not put anyone else in harm's way.
The problem is not with the majority of hunters who appear to be fully aware of the safety precautions and the rights and wrongs of hunting. The problem - as is always the case - is with a minority of people who spoil it for the rest.
It is quite staggering that there are still trigger-happy hunters who shoot without checking if they are endangering anyone. One would have thought that the recent cases of people being killed by careless hunters would be enough to make everyone extremely safety conscious.
A story in yesterday's Hawke's Bay Today is a good case in point. A group of campers in the Kaweka Forest Park came within centimetres of being shot as a hunter, illegally spotlighting, targeted and shot a deer in direct line of sight with the camp.
The really bad thing about this incident is that it occurred on Department of Conservation (DoC) land and Tom Barr, a Napier-based DoC compliance officer said the regulations for hunting there were clear. Interestingly Mr Barr said "sometimes there is alcohol involved and sometimes it is buck fever".
Whatever it is, it has no place in our bush. All hunters, like the rest of us, should abide by the laws of the land.
No exceptions. Not even for idiots.