As this article goes to print it has become obvious that the aerial shooting of wild deer has become the main control method used by NSW government departments (LLS).
Government deer control contracts were initially aimed at reducing excessive deer numbers on Public land. Namely National Parks and other lands where access by licensed hunters was not permitted.
The program is funded to the tune of millions of dollars by the NSW taxpayer, with supplementary money kicked in by the Federal Department of the Environment.
The program has now shifted to private property where owners of lands adjacent to crown lands are pressed to allow helicopter shooting. The happens even if deer numbers are low on the private lands due to effective control by hunters and farmers.
I would guess that Forestry Corporation NSW was lobbied by LLS to allow the cull even though there is no evidence that deer are causing damage.
Without consulting the hunting community the aerial culling of wild deer is now scheduled to happen from mid March 2021 in selected State Forests in the Oberon and Bombala areas.
These forests have been open to Licensed hunters since 2009. Wild deer density is acknowledged to be low in these heavily hunted State Forests.
The question should be, why spend $3000 per hour flying heavily timbers State forest to attempt to shoot the small number of deer present?
This program is a direct slap in the face to Licensed hunters. The LLS believe that hunting does not control deer numbers on
State forest. Just ask any deer hunter how difficult it is to consistently kill deer on State Forest.
It is well documented that helicopter shooting periodically will suppress wild deer numbers. This method will not eradicate deer from forested landscapes.
Removing the deer this way will produce a “pulse cycle” where deer numbers are low initially, followed by a rapid increase in the population if left alone. I am guessing that the LLS will allow hunters to clean up the scraps following their wasteful cull.
This cull on State forest is nothing more than window dressing for the LLS to their political masters. They will report areas covered but not the number or cost of deer culled.
Its time questions were asked. These aerial culls are conducted through Local land Services and generally the Game Licensing Unit are not notified. You should direct your concerns to LLS at02 6841 6500 or at https://www.lls.nsw.gov.au/regions/central-west/contact-us