The annual “roar” is under way and deer hunters are being encouraged to consider safety first and look after their mates.

Game Animal Council general manager Tim Gale said the roar was the highlight of the hunting calendar, “and for some it’s bigger than Christmas

“While we really encourage hunters to get out and enjoy it, we also want to remind them of the simple things they can do to stay safe and look after their mates.

The council has launched a Look After Your Mates campaign on its website and social media pages.

Advice includes adequate preparation, checking a reliable weather forecast, leaving accurate intentions, carrying a distress beacon or other emergency communication device and taking enough food, clothing and equipment for everyone.

also means taking into account the level of experience and fitness of those in your party, and making sure everyone is involved in trip decision-making and is comfortable with the plans being made.

Firearms safety and identifying targets were “absolutely essential” during the roar, when more people were around, he said.