Bega Valley Traditional Archers featured well in an ABC radio story on hunting on public land.

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Top start to NT bird season; bow hunters in the limelight; give a hand to a loaded dog; NSW licence application on line; game for dinner; public land management hearings; activists bid to stop wolf hunt; grizzly tales of elk hunters; modern poachers are criminals.

Top start to NT bird season

The Northern Territory’s hunting season got off to a great start on Wednesday, with good numbers of magpie geese and ducks. Reports suggest hunters had little trouble filling their bags, with limits set at 10 ducks and 10 geese a day. NT Parks and Wildlife estimates there are around 3.4 million waterfowl this year, and have issued about 900 permits to hunters. The season runs till the Christmas/New Year, with staged closing dates. See details on the NTPW website.

Bow hunters in the limelight

Bega Valley Traditional Archers are central to an ABC radio report that explains in unusual detail how hunting is expected to operate in NSW national parks when rules governing it are announced. Going into the Game Council’s guidelines for state forests, and allowing a hunter to explain the safety and ethics involved, the interview is a welcome change from the many broadcasts and stories that have explained nothing except the beliefs of anti-hunting groups. “Education and good practise is the key to safe hunting,” BVTH secretary Garry Mallard says. You can hear it here.

Give a hand to a loaded dog

A French hunter identified only as Rene had his hand amputated after his dog shot him. The man admitted he’d not had the safety catch of his shotgun engaged when his hunting dog “jumped on me for a cuddle”. The shot did so much damage to the hand that doctors could not save it.

NSW licence application online

Would-be NSW shooters can now apply for a licence online through the NSW police website. Should make the process a little easier. Details are on the Firearms Registry section of the site, while the form itself is here.

Game for dinner?

Field and Game Australia’s annual gala dinner is almost sold out. They guarantee it’ll be a top night. You can make a group booking or just come alone and see who you end up sitting with. It’ll be held in Sale, Victoria, on 20 October. See the FGA website for more details.

Public land management hearings

Don’t forget about upcoming hearings by the NSW parliamentary inquiry into the management of public land. They’re a chance for hunters to influence how it’s done. The committee, chaired by Shooters and Fishers Party MLC Robert Brown, is visiting a number of regional centres over the next few weeks, specifically Bourke, Coonabarabran, Port Macquarie and Grafton, with a final one in Sydney. Details are on the parliamentary website.

Activists bid to stop wolf hunt

Despite authorities insisting a scheduled wolf hunting season in the US state of Minnesota “poses no biological or conservation threat to the wolf population”, animal activist groups are trying to stop it going ahead by suing the state, alleging officials didn’t follow the proper process for setting the hunt’s rules. “Minnesotans should know the [Department of Natural Resource’s] primary wolf management goal is to ensure the long-term survival of the wolf,” said a government spokesman. “The DNR’s conservative approach to this first season is based on sound conservation science and principles.” The Center for Biological Diversity and Howling for Wolves, the two groups who filed the lawsuit, simply want hunting stopped, regardless of conservation outcomes. Their suit demands the hunt be called off until after the court has heard the case, which is not expected to be finalised until next year.

Grizzly tales of elk hunters

Two elk hunters in the US were bitten by grizzly bears last week, and both were lucky enough to survive. One was retrieving an elk he’d shot the day before, but found a bear had already claimed it and wasn’t about to give it up. It rushed the man, biting him on the shoulder but not doing serious damage. The other victim was using a cow caller to hunt elk but lured a female grizzly and her two cubs instead. He had not have time to reach for pepper spray before she lunged at him, inflicting wounds that were not life-threatening. The man managed to fire a shot that scared the bear away.

Modern poachers are criminals: police

Police in the UK have scotched the traditional image of a poacher being someone who might take a pheasant for the pot. Like poaching rings in Africa, there’s a serious criminal intent behind modern poaching in the UK, they say, with money being made out of supplying illegal game meat to restaurants and pubs. Police and rural communities are stepping up efforts to combat poachers.


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Mick Matheson

Mick grew up with guns and journalism, and has included both in his career. A life-long hunter, he has long-distant military experience and holds licence categories A, B and H. In the glory days of print media, he edited six national magazines in total, and has written about, photographed and filmed firearms and hunting for more than 15 years.

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