NT Back-Country Public Land Hunting Initiative Announced


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On Monday 8 July the NT Chief Minister Adam Giles announced the Back Country Hunting Initiative.

The first area that will be opened to rifle hunters will be part of Litchfield National Park south of Darwin. The Back Country Hunting Initiative grew out of a “Territory Lifestyle Camping” concept developed by the NT Firearms Council some years ago.

It became concerning to firearm owners who enjoyed an outdoor lifestyle in the traditional sense, centred around “going bush” on family camping trips that included hunting, that more and more of their favourite camping spots were being closed off and earmarked for high-volume tourism development.

Local Territorians were beginning to feel disenfranchised as their beloved outdoor lifestyle came under threat. Previously unoccupied pastoral leases were being fenced and stocked, Aboriginal land with native title was sought by Federal and Territory Governments for jointly managed National Parks or conservation reserves, and many felt the use of firearms for recreational hunting of feral animals was being unfairly restricted.

Fortunately, the NT Government has shown an understanding of these concerns and agreed to develop the Back Country Hunting (BCH) initiative, a concept that provides for limited access by permit for accredited Territorians (and their inter-state guests) to portions of the NT Estate that are suitable for ‘traditional’ outdoor camping and hunting activities.

The first permitted hunts in Litchfield National Park are expected to begin in September 2016 and are the culmination of years of work by the NT Firearms Council on behalf of responsible hunters.

Tony Orr, the NT Firearms Council Environment and Hunting delegate, has been a key player in getting the program developed and is to be congratulated for his efforts. WHO CAN PARTICIPATE IN THE BCH PROGRAM? Residents of the Northern Territory can participate in the BCH initiative subject to the following requirements:

i. Hold a current NT firearms licence;

ii. Be a current member of a P&W Approved Hunting Organisation (there are three AHO’s at the moment (SSAA, Australian Deer Association and Field and Game);

iii. Have a BCH accreditation from a P&W approved BCH assessor;

iv. Have an appropriate BCH permit from P&W.

Residents of areas outside of the Northern Territory can participate in the BCH initiative subject to the following requirements:

i. Hold a current firearms licence accepted by the NT Police;

ii. Be a members of a hunting club or organisation that holds $20 million public liability which covers all members who participate in hunting on public land under permit in the Northern Territory;

iii. Have a BCH accreditation from a P&W approved BCH assessor;

iv. Have an appropriate BCH permit from P&W;

v. Visiting hunters must be accompanied by an NT Resident with a BCH accreditation and Permit on the permitted hunt.

Thanks to Brian Boyle, NT Firearms Councillor for sharing this great news for Australian Hunters.


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