Recreational deer hunting not only brings substantial economic benefits to struggling rural communities; it is a very effective tool to maintain deer numbers.
This has never been more evident with the release of the 2019 research into deer hunting released by the Game Management Authority (GMA).
In 2018 it was estimated that hunters contributed 2.4 Billion dollars to the economy. With the current growth and popularity of deer hunting, one could only surmise that the total spend would be approaching the 3.5 Billion dollar mark, rivalling the Melbourne cup.
Sambar deer were the primary target of most hunters with 131,258 taken, followed by 30,300 fallow, 3277 red and 183 hog
GMA Release: Research into deer hunting, released by the Game Management Authority (GMA), shows an increase in the number of licensed recreational deer hunters and an increase in the number of deer harvested in 2019.
TheEstimates of the 2019 deer harvest in Victoriahas found that 173,800 deer were harvested in 2019 – a 43 per cent increase on the estimated 121,600 deer harvested in 2018.
Sambar Deer was the most harvested species with an estimated total harvest of 131,258, of which 60 per cent were female. Fallow Deer was the second most harvested species, with an estimated harvest of 30,307 deer, of which 62 per cent were female.
The number of recreational deer hunters licensed to hunt deer in Victoria peaked at 41,985 by the end of the year.
The research also shows that each active licensed deer hunter harvested an average of 6.8 deer and was active for an average of 13.6 days in 2019. Licensed deer hunters spent a combined total of 344,604 days hunting – a 45 per cent increase from 2018.
The most popular hunting areas were around the towns of Mansfield, Dargo, Licola, Wodonga and Myrtleford.
The highest number of deer harvested were around the towns of Myrtleford, Mansfield, Bairnsdale, Dargo and Whittlesea. Most of the deer were taken from public land.
The GMA Chief Executive Officer Graeme Ford said the 2019 deer hunting season continued the trend of an increasing annual harvest.
“The findings in the report show recreational deer hunting has grown in popularity with more hunters successfully harvesting more deer,” Mr Ford said.
“It is important to collect information about the number of deer harvested by recreational hunters each year. This information is used to help inform decisions about deer management and the management of hunting on public and private land in Victoria. Thank you to all the hunters who participated in the research.”
Throughout 2019, 2,400 licensed deer hunters were surveyed to gather information about their hunting activity, including how many deer they harvested, where they hunted, what hunting methods were used and the species of deer they harvested.
The report is produced by the GMA in collaboration with the Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research.
For a full copy of theEstimates of the 2019 deer harvest in Victoriavisitwww.gma.vic.gov.au
With the numbers on the board you have to question why the Governmnet would use expensive chopper culling in high use hunting areas like the Dargo High Plains….