Some of the tiger skins seized recently in Russia. New anti-poaching laws will make possession illegal.

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SA gun amnesty ends; Russia strengthens poaching laws; jail for target-shooting solider; crazy liberationists; Ridgeline winners; Abela’s jobs; NSW deer season over; Narooma’s shooting heats up; Canada registry’s data deleted; Sunraysia signs up.

SA gun amnesty winds up

The “most successful” gun amnesty in South Australia’s history has ended, resulting in 2783 firearms being handed in. The vast majority were unwanted or unregistered Category A and B firearms, along with only 168 handguns, 105 C/D longarms and 13 ‘prescribed’ weapons (77 were yet to be identified). One was a rocket launcher. All the guns will be destroyed. Police were happy to see them all “off the streets”, but the amnesty was more a conscience-clearing exercise for people as tougher penalties come into place in SA. Victoria’s current amnesty will run until the end of this month, and Queensland plans to run one when its new gun laws are approved.

Russia strengthens anti-poaching laws

Amid claims that poaching has been responsible for the loss of as much as 97% of the world’s tiger population since 2000, Russia is about to get tougher on the killers and traffickers with new laws that make possession, transportation and trade in endangered species a crime. Currently, it is only illegal under Russian law to kill the animals, a law poachers got around by claiming they’d found the animals dead. One man was recently found with eight tiger skins in Russia, which is a major source for the black market. Russia was the first nation to grant full protection to tigers and conservation efforts have helped some populations recover to stable levels.

Jail for would-be Olympic solider?

World champion pistol shooter Morgan Cook faces up to two years in jail under British law for having a cache of ammunition. The army sergeant-major, who was almost selected to represent his country at the 2012 Olympics, had 40,000 rounds of .22 ammo in his house, along with 3750 rounds of 5.56mm ammo, 600 rounds of 9mm and seven 5.56mm tracer bullets. Pleading guilty to the charges, he told the court the 5.56 rounds were leftovers from competitions. He will be sentenced on 9 November.

Those crazy liberationists

Animal libbers are not renowned for their sense. In the surreal world of Orange County, California, PETA wants a roadside memorial erected “in memory of hundreds of fish who suffered and died” after a traffic accident last month involving a truck carrying hundreds of live bass to market. More seriously, animal rights advocates are threatening to kill each other’s pets. Yes. This story, which is too bizarre to summarise here, defies all reason.

Ridgeline photo competition winners

We had joint winners of our Ridgeline hunting photo competition for October. Justin Wann and Andrew Rawles have each won a Ridgeline bumbag for their shots, which feature youngsters enjoying our sport. Check them out on this page.

Abela’s job openings

Abela’s Gun Shop in Campbelltown has taken another step towards completing its establishment, setting up a test online shop and inviting shooters to apply for jobs at the new superstore. The positions include sales and service roles and a dispatch/mail order manager. Email or call (02) 4626 3222 to apply.

NSW deer season is closed

Deer season ended in NSW this week. Fallow, red, wapiti and hog deer may not be hunted until the new season begins next year.

Narooma’s shooting heats up

Not only has the NSW South Coast shire of Eurobodalla approved Huntfest, it has celebrated the shooting success of one of its school students. Mayor Lindsay Brown greeted students who won scholarships with the South East Regional Academy of Sports, one of whom is rifle shooter Shane Ison. Meanwhile, the Game Council has visited the Huntfest site with organisers from the South Coast Hunters Club. Game Council CEO Brian Boyle described Huntfest as “a great initiative”. The Narooma News covered it well.

Canada gun registry’s lights are out

Canada’s Minister for Public Safety has announced the last of the data held by the nation’s gun registry has been deleted. Restricted weapons are still covered, and the province of Qebec maintains its own data, but the national registry of longarms has now gone. Shooters’ celebrations remained reserved while they say there is more to be done to ensure excessive gun control is beaten back.

Sunraysia signs up

Field and Game’s Sunraysia branch recently put the finishing touches on a massive makeover, creating an impressive entrance (click on the thumbnail below) that leaves no doubt where you’ve arrived. Along with a new skeet house, fences, paint and much more, the work was funded by the Mallee Catchment Management Authority’s flood recovery program. After nine months of hard yakka, the branch celebrated with a dinner for 80 people, followed by shooting clays under the lights.




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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.