John Nash Bairnsdale FGA
Having read with interest both articles,
Respecting Local Traditions and Embrace Common Interest, and having hunted Macleod Morass for nigh on 70 years as I am heading for the big 80, I would go along with John Byers’ article in relation to hides, naming, etc., for the overall benefit of all hunters.
The tradition I was bought up with in our area was if you built a hide you were entitled to the use of it on opening and closing weekends and other than that, it was first-come first-serve. The same hunters have been using the same hides year-in year-out, except for when there has been a change in conditions, such as lack of water, but when able to, always shoot from the same hides.
In our area, names are not necessary as everyone knows who shoots where and who they shoot next to, respecting the hunting traditions set out by our forefathers in this swamp many moons ago, and it is an orderly shoot each opening day on a public swamp. The refurbishing of hides is usually done after the announcement of a season and our group have completed the job by Australia Day weekend.
From what I have seen in some swamps up north of Melbourne, there seems to be a culture of pick a spot, walk out in the open and take your chances of getting a duck or two. True hunters consider their adjoining hunters and make a genuine attempt to have reasonable cover so as to enjoy a good morning with mates and not be a hindrance deterring birds from coming into decoy spreads, or changing their flight path, allowing all the opportunity to get some shooting.
I would sooner hunt in a controlled manner than take pot luck as they do up north, and while it may seem unfair to Peter Mckenzie, I see no reason why Gippsland hunters should change their ways from the tradition I was taught as a youngster.