Leading hunting body GameCon has commended Eurobodalla Shire Council for approving an annual hunting festival at Narooma on the NSW South Coast.
HuntFest, which will begin in June 2013, will run for at least five years and is intended to provide a vital annual tourism boost to the Narooma economy.
The event will bring together a range of hunting interests, including a photo and video competition, game meat sampling, hunting and fishing information, and industry products.
GameCon spokesman Douglas Shupe said HuntFest, a dream achieved by the South Coast Hunters Club, was believed to be the first event of its type to be held in Australia.
And he said the council decision to give HuntFest official status was a lesson to extreme environmentalists.
“There was opposition from hard-line greenies, what else is new, but council stood its ground and recognised that there was genuine support for HuntFest from the local community,” Mr Shupe said.
“Reasonable people understand that responsible, licensed hunting is an acceptable activity that can also be important for the rural economy.”
Mr Shupe said HuntFest would attract not just hunters but their entire families and eventually should grow to be a sold-out weekend for Narooma motels, restaurants and clubs as the festival becomes established.
“From the Sydney area alone, there will be many hunting families already looking forward to next June and a pleasant trip to enjoy Narooma’s attractions as part of a weekend of celebrating the sacred art of hunting,” he said.