Research & Development

Welcome to

The home of research into Failure-to-identify (FTI) Hunting Incidents - (Last update 14/07/2020: People can download full text of first research publication and also two page summary from table below). 


The downloadable stuff

The table below presents details of the research as they become publically available.

Year Details File
2020 / 2021 Full text of thesis will be available in due course once copyrighting considerations and university examination are complete.  To be advised
2020 PhD Thesis submitted - two page high level summary of the findings Download
2019 Computer based testing into contextual causes of hunting decision making Manuscript under review by journal
2017 Field and Simulation based research into behaviour and psycho-physiology of FTI

Plain English Version Download

2016 Foundational mapping of the process of hunting

Plain English Version Download

Full text published research paper Download

Some initial publicity about the research can be accessed below.

Apr 2018 - TVNZ Seven Sharp Interview

Feb 2018 - Radio NZ National interview (Karl Bridges talking about latest findings)

Aug 2016 - Josh James' YouTube announcement

Aug 2016 - NZ Herald article

Oct 2015 - 3 News interview

Oct 2015 - Radio NZ National interview (Kyle Wilson talking about white paper we co-authored)


The background

hfex® produced a white paper titled "Mistaken-for-Game Hunting Accidents – A Human Factors Review" that is downloadable courtesy of our customer, Hunter Safety Lab. Due to the personal/widespread interest and significance for safety across all industries including hunting, our Managing Director personally committed to conducting a PhD in this area with the priority of making a difference above and beyond any additional academic qualifications obtained from this endeavour. We anticipate this commitment will take at least 3 years to complete. The work will not affect the day to day delivery by hfex® of great human factors solutions across the world.

The research will focus on Failure-to-identify (FTI) incidents in deer hunting and will be an independent piece of work from the original report hfex® completed.

FTI incidents relate to Rule 4 of the 2013 Arms Code, which states that the hunter must positively identify their target beyond all doubt. In some cases, due to incorrectly identifying the target, this has led to fatal shootings of another human being. The aftermath is devastating for all involved - the families, protagonists and emergency services. The practical application of this research will lead to potential improvements to widespread hunter safety related activities, self-awareness, potential reduction in incident rates and a better understanding of why people behave the way they do in many industries other than hunting.

hfex® is also using this opportunity to increase their capability and gain field based experience associated with neuroergonomics. Neuroergonomics is the application of neuroscience to human factors and ergonomics (HFE) by addressing the biological substrates with an emphasis on the role of the human nervous system and its influence on cognition and behaviour. This methodology has proved its worth into fatigue risk management, UX design, decision making and many more aspects of work performance/safety.


The plan

The research has followed the high level timeline:


The tables

The table below presents progress.

Date Initial findings
Thesis 31 May 2020 - Thesis submitted for exam

Research #06 - Sika 2019 Computer based trials

24 Dec 2019 - Analysis complete/manuscript drafting commenced
30 Sep 2019 - Analysis started
29 Sep 2019 - Trial completed
19 Aug 2019 - Ethics amendment approved
23 Jul 2019 - Ethics approval obtained

Research #05 - Sika 2018 simulation trials

20 Dec 2019 - Article undergoing Univeristy review
13 May 2019 - Article started
12 Apr 2019 - Analysis complete
29 Sep 2018 - Trial completed
27 June 2018 - Test design started, seeking supporters, obtaining equipment
12June 2018 - Ethics approval obtained

Research #03 and #04 - Field and simulation trials

24 Sep 2019 - Manuscript sent to journal
28 June 2018 - Manuscript drafted, plain English doco drafted - both under review
01 May 2018 - Writing up of research commencing
15 Feb 2018 - Presented back bulk of findings to working group
30 Sep & 01 Oct 2017 - Sika Show Simulated Trial
21 Jun 2017 - Planning workshop for simulation research
03 May 2017 - Field Research Pt 2 - Balnagown
30 April 2017 - Field Research Pt 1 - Makapua Station

Research #02 - Near miss reporting 31 May 2017 - Advised supervisor to not review, plan to combine with field and large trial academic reports - combined with Research 01 journal article
27 Mar 2017 - Submitted revised draft to supervisor
03 Mar 2017 - Submitted initial draft to working group for review
Research #01 - Baseline modelling

31 Jan 2018 - Published (in March 2018 edition)
31 Oct 2017 - Accepted in Human Factors Journal (publication forthcoming)
30 May 2017 - Resubmitted
04 Apr 2017 - Human Factors Journal - revise and resubmit
15 Feb 2017 - Submitted to Human Factors Journal
03 Jan 2017 - Submitted final draft to co-authors for review
06 Dec 2017 - Submitted initial draft to working group for review


The table below presents a journal of key dates.

Progress (including completed events)
31 Aug 2020 Estimated date for PhD defence
31 May 2020 Target date for Thesis hand-in (completed).
29 September, 2019 Sika 2019 Research
22 August, 2019 Ethics review approved
01 May 2019 Working group meeting
29 September, 2018 Sika 2018 Research
12 June, 2018 Ethics review approved
20 May, 2018 Ethics application submitted
01 May, 2018 Write up of 2017 research commenced
15 February 2018 Working Group Meeting
30 September, 2017 Large scale trial - Sika Show
21 June, 2017 Working group meeting - planning workshop
03 June, 2017 Field trials (pt. 2)
01-04 May, 2017 Field trials (pt. 1)
17 March, 2017 Working group deadline for journal article review
03 March, 2017 Second journal article up for working group review
16 February, 2017 Submitted first journal article
05 February, 2017 Plain English version of first journal article sent out
06 November, 2016 Closing date for confidential survey extended - noon (NZ Time) 
17 October, 2016 Working group meeting to discuss initial findings and validate baseline
12 August, 2016 Second baselining workshop
09 August, 2016 Josh James announcing the confidential reporting 
16 July, 2016 NZDA AGM & First data gathering method planned launch
06 July, 2016 Baselining workshop 
10 June, 2016 Research protocol developed
28 April, 2016 Working group meeting - research methods
30 March, 2016 University ethics application submitted
16 March, 2016 Request to accessing police records
01 March, 2016 Official start date of PhD
27 January, 2016 Enrolement at University complete
05 February, 2016 Acceptance of application for PhD
28 January, 2016 Meet NZDS committee and licensing
16 December, 2015 Research kick off 
14 October, 2015 3 News interview
12 October, 2015 Radio NZ National interview
21 September, 2015 Delivery of final version of the white paper


Academic Supporters.

Name Organisation
Associate Professor Paul Corballis University of Auckland, PhD Supervisor
Professor Tony Lambert University of Auckland, PhD Co-supervisor
Professor Erik Hollnagel Co-author and Subject Matter Expert
Dr. Kyle Wilson Co-author on Mistaken-for-game white paper


Organisational support - those who have provided support, advice, expertise and logistical help. 

Supporting organisations
Balnagowen Hunting
BowSim 4d (formerly Shooting Cinema)
Federated Mountain Clubs
Firearms Safety Council
Firearms Safety Specialists
Fish and Game
Game Animal Council
Gibson Hunts
Hunter Safety Lab
Hunting and Fishing
Makapua Station
New Zealand Deerstalkers Association
Precision Shooting
Radix Nutrition
Safer Shooting
Steve's Wholesale
Stoney Creek
The Kiwi Bushman


The publications

Bridges, K.E. (2017). Human Factors in hunting: An ongoing investigation. Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society of New Zealand’s 19th Conference “Wellbeing Design Practice” – 5-7 September 2017, Wellington, New Zealand.

Bridges, K.E., & Corballis, P.M. (2017). Psychophysiological measures to understand failure-to-identify hunting accidents in deerstalking. Poster session presented at the 7th Annual Cognitive Neuroscience Society - 23-26 November 2017, Adelaide, Australia.

Bridges, K.E., & Corballis, P.M. (2018). Psychophysiological measures to understand failure-to-identify hunting accidents in deerstalking. Poster session at the 58th Annual Meeting of the Society for Psychophysiological Research (SPR) - 3-7 October 2018, Quebec City, Canada.

Bridges, K.E., & Corballis, P.M. (2019). Cognitive, behavioural and psycho-physiological predictors of failure-to-identify hunting incidents. Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society of New Zealand's 21st Conference - Auckland, New Zealand. 19-20 September 2019.

Bridges, K.E., Corballis, P.M., & Hollnagel, E. (2018). “Failure-to-identify” hunting incidents: a resilience engineering approach. Human Factors, 60 (2), 141-159.

Bridges, K.E., Corballis, P.M., Spray, M. & Bagrie, J. (Under review). Testing failure-to-identify hunting incidents using an immersive simulation: is it viable? Applied Ergonomics.


Should you wish to discuss, comment or contribute to this page, or would like to be kept up to date on some of the other exciting pieces of work being conducted by hfex® please contact us using the contact details on this website.