FOXBUSTERS On Foot Hunting Code of Practice
A party of walking hunters should have a maximum of three members. Two is much safer. None of the hunters should have consumed alcohol, illicit or recreational drugs 24 hours prior to the hunt nor during the hunt.
- Firearms are best equipped with a sling so that extended hunting involves less fatigue.
- The firearm should never be allowed to point toward another person and should be carried in an UNLOADED condition, preferably with the muzzle pointing upwards. Muzzle down involves the risk of inadvertently pointing toward feet and legs.
- Prior to sighting quarry, the hunter to take the shot, should be nominated.
- When the quarry is sighted, the nominated hunter may proceed ahead of the group, load his/her firearm but keeping it in a SAFE (SAFE means open breach or reliable safety catch on, so the firearm cannot accidentally discharge) condition so an accidental discharge is not possible. Only make ready to fire just prior to target acquisition.
- UNLOAD the firearm after the shot/shots have been fired.
- Should the quarry be only wounded, the firearm must be made SAFE again before pursuing the wounded animal. If other members of the party are involved in the pursuit, they must keep their firearms unloaded and not move ahead of the nominated hunter. Should the quarry move to the side, then the hunter on that side becomes the nominated hunter and may load and shoot. The original nominated hunter must make his/her firearm SAFE.
- A party of thee should try to maintain a triangle so that it is clear that the hunter closest to the quarry is automatically the nominated hunter unless by arrangement otherwise. If the original nominated hunter is to remain in that status, other members of the party fall behind so the nominated hunter remains closest to the quarry. A hunter must never shoot if anyone is closer to the quarry than they are.
Calling foxes with decoy sounds.
- When choosing suitable site and before the calling starts, the hunters must locate themselves in a comfortable position with cover or camouflage for concealment with a clear view facing as omnidirectional as possible and away from other hunters.
- Firearms may be loaded but SAFE until the fox appears then made ready to fire. When that hunt concludes, all firearms must be UNLOADED before proceeding.
- Never climb through a fence with a loaded firearm.
- Shooting at flat surfaces such as water or hard ground increases the risk of ricochets with some projectile types.