Is 'Buck Fever' responsible for New Zealand's hunting accidents?

A researcher has talked to Seven Sharp about his investigation into 'Buck Fever', the emotional state that grips some people as they hunt.

Karl Bridges has been writing a PHD on Buck Fever for two years and is looking into how it's connected to hunting accidents. 

"The essence is someone goes through a heightened state of physical arousal" Mr Bridges said. 

Hunters who have experienced it say it's so overwhelming that it is hard to control.

Some of the symptoms are adrenaline, shortness of breath and tightened muscles. 

"The brain gets tired, the eyes get tired and what happens is something that is not a deer, the brain wants to let you know, no it is a deer,"  a professional hunting guide told Seven Sharp.

Mr Bridges hopes his research will find a cause for Buck Fever and and a way of controlling it.

"You're not going to find one cause for it. I do believe it does play a role, but I don't know to what extent it does" he said. 

Seven Sharp’s Lucas De Jong visited a researcher looking into the state of mind hunters have long known about. Source: Seven Sharp