Poor confused Diana Gillies.
Shame about that name! Diana is supposed to be the Roman goddess of the hunter. Her letter on November 2 is confused, uninformed, has inconsistent arguments filled with the emotive language that only appeals to shallow thinkers.
Firstly, I must defend NSW democracy, which allows representation for a wide range of views. Otherwise we would have a dictatorial, Queensland-style system with no upper house of review. No Shooters and Fishers Party, no Christian Democrats and no Greens.
Ms Gillies’ letter rambles on about no verification of the numbers of feral pests destroyed and then derides hunters for providing photographic proof. Hunters don’t just talk about conservation, they do it, and proud photos prove it.
The real farce is the way Ms Gillies dismisses the facts about the number of feral pests removed from our forests. Licensed hunters must report numbers destroyed before applying for another hunt. Figures are likely to be under reported, as some hunters are reluctant to share knowledge of their favourite areas.
The NSW Game Council strictly controls numbers of hunters in any one area. Their published figures do not include the vast numbers of feral pests destroyed on private farmland by hunters. Land managers, both private and government, know the value of this free service and encourage their hunting guests to return.
Ms Gillies worries about the native species taken by feral predators, and yet seems unconcerned about the damage to habitat by her feral so called, ”passive species”. She criticises mass culling techniques of spotlighting, poisoning and trapping which are only available to farmers and public land managers. Professional shooters would be the most costly of all. Just because someone is paid, does not always mean the job will be done any better.
Other states have controlled hunting in their multi-use parks and forests. Victorian country communities have long enjoyed the economic benefits of their hunting visitors. Southern NSW cannot afford to miss out. Our environment should not miss out on the habitat benefits either.
I would urge anyone interested in conserving our environment to visit the NSW Game Council website and find out the facts for themselves. Local hunting clubs can help you to make a difference.
Ms Gillies, are you just a knocker with no practical clues for fixing the feral problem? Or is it that you hate “men with guns”? Women hunt and shoot too! If you were serious about solving this problem you should get a “conservation tool” (gun or bow) and become an ethical volunteer hunter. And when in the bush, don’t forget to wear your blaze orange item of clothing. We wouldn’t want you to be mistaken for a feral.
John Butcher, President, Nelligen Hunting Club