It may come as no surprise to both hunters and farmers that better coordination of on-farm hunting activities is required.
This is one of the preliminary findings of the Australian Hunter and Landowner Survey, currently open to hunters and farmers around the country.
The independent survey – the first of its kind on such a scale – has had an overwhelmingly positive response.
Conducted by agricultural scientist and hunter, James Tyson, the survey has been completed by almost 1000 hunters and farmers from every State and Territory in Australia; despite only being open for a matter of weeks.
“There is considerable interest from both hunters and famers in better coordination of hunting activities; specifically through the use of secure online booking and farm mapping tools”, Mr Tyson said.
While the response rate, so far, is very encouraging, further feedback from both hunters and farmers is critical to ensuring the relevance of the tools being developed.
“This positive feedback, as well as in-depth discussions with some of Australia’s largest landowners, is providing valuable information to assist in the development of practical, easy-to-use online tools.”
“While many of Australia’s 150,000-plus hunters enjoy long-standing mutually-beneficial relationships with landowners, there’s still no widely-available efficient method for them to organise hunting activities, explore property maps and communicate effectively with landowners,” Mr Tyson said.
Tools developed will be tailored for hunters and farmers that have existing relationships.
“With 98% of hunter respondents already participating in on-farm pest animal control, valuable support is provided to farmers in reducing the massive impact of wild dogs, foxes, pigs, goats, kangaroos and other pest species.”
“As such, there are fantastic opportunities to better utilise existing hunters on farms through better coordination,” Mr Tyson said.
Almost 70% of hunters surveyed have more than 10 years’ experience, hunt on three or more privately-owned properties, and place importance on the ability to make bookings well in advance, view property maps with hunting zone boundaries, and view up-to-date property rules and guidelines (including OH&S).
Nine out of 10 hunters said they are likely to use the online tools developed.
“More than 90% of farmers put their own time and effort into coordinating hunting, and almost one-in-four also receive assistance from a farm manager or dedicated hunting manager,” Mr Tyson said.
Farmers also place importance on the ability for hunters to make bookings well in advance, as well as communicating dates and times unavailable for hunting due to permit periods or property and livestock management reasons.
The most important features for farmers, however, are the ability to communicate property rules and guidelines (e.g. OH&S), receive feedback from hunters (e.g. animals taken), record hunter insurance details, and secure password-protected access to the tools.
“Farmers are equally supportive of the overall concept; with more than two-thirds saying they are likely to use the online tools developed,” Mr Tyson said.
The Australian Hunter and Landowner Survey can be completed online HERE.
For further information about the survey and tools being developed, contact Mr Tyson at email@example.com