12 Jul 2012

Sensor to stop accidental hunter shooting developed

8:00 am on 12 July 2012

A New Zealand company has developed a product it says will reduce hunting accidents, and plans to launch it in the lucrative American market in a year's time.

Hunter Safety Lab founder Michael Scott wanted to find a way to prevent hunters accidentally shooting one another.

With the help of Industrial Research Ltd, Mr Scott has developed a gun-mounted sensor and detectable patches that can be attached to clothing that should reduce that happening.

He says research has shown high visibility orange clothing isn't totally effective, and often hunters have been shot while wearing it.

Mr Scott says there are strong psychological reasons why a hunter can see a deer when there is none, just because it's what they want to see or expect to see.

He says the size of the hunting market in New Zealand is relatively limited, so the American market will be his company's launch point because there are about 20 million hunters in USA, compared to about 40,000 in New Zealand.

Mr Scott says the company is working on prototypes for field trials and has taken on board seed investment.

He says they are aiming to launch the product in the USA in August 2013 before the next hunting season starts there.