Fallow deer photo by Nennieinszweidrei/Pixabay

Shooters call for role in SA deer management plan

One of South Australia’s leading shooting representative groups is calling for greater involvement in managing the state’s out of control feral deer problem.

The South Australian government says there are approximately 40,000 feral deer in the state, and that more than 13,000 of them need to be culled annually just to prevent numbers increasing — and that’s before trying to reduce the existing population.

Shooters Union South Australia president Peter Heggie said the state government’s plans to deal with the issue were expensive and utterly failed to acknowledge the tens of thousands of shooters who would be very happy to help reduce deer numbers for free.

“Every time the issue of feral deer comes up, there are lots of studies commissioned and reports written and so on, but almost none of them ever say ‘make it easier for hunters to go and shoot all the feral deer,’ despite it being an obvious, practical and cost-effective solution,” he said.

“Right now, getting two professional shooters up in a helicopter costs about $75,000 per day. 

“That’s money that could be better but towards any number of things, including social services, community infrastructure and reducing the cost of living for South Australians.”

Mr Heggie said one of the other significant benefits of letting individual hunters cull feral deer was that those hunters could then harvest the meat from the deer they shot, giving them a freezer full of organic, ethically harvested meat for not a lot of money.

“Given the skyrocketing cost of living, I’d have thought the government would love to be supporting an initiative that helps feed South Australians for less money,” he said.

He also pointed out that instead of spending money paying for aerial culling and professional shooters, the SA government could be charging hunters and volunteer pest controllers a nominal fee to access state forests so they could shoot the feral deer hiding in them.

Mr Heggie expressed his continued frustration that the government appeared to be going out of its way to avoid letting licensed shooters and volunteer pest controllers be part of the solution, and said Shooters Union members were standing by to help reduce feral deer numbers.

“We’d love to be part of the feral deer solution — we’re only a phone call or an email away if the government wants to discuss it with us,” he said.




Like it? Share with your friends!

What's Your Reaction?

super super
fail fail
fun fun
bad bad
hate hate
lol lol
love love
omg omg
Royce Wilson

Royce is something rare in Australia: A journalist who really likes guns. He has been interested in firearms as long as he can remember, and is particularly interested in military and police firearms from the 19th Century to the present. In addition to historical and collectible firearms, he is also a keen video gamer and has written for several major newspapers and websites on that subject.