Deer har­vest yields record

Ovens & Murray Advertiser - - NEWS -

A GAME man­age­ment re­port shows about 98,000 deer were taken by li­censed recre­ational deer hun­ters in Vic­to­ria last year.

The doc­u­ment – pro­duced by the Game Man­age­ment Author­ity (GMA) in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Arthur Ry­lah In­sti­tute for En­vi­ron­men­tal Re­search – pro­vides sum­maries of key data based on tele­phone sur­veys of li­cenced deer hun­ters.

Through­out the sur­vey pe­riod, more than 1600 li­censed deer hun­ters were asked a se­ries of ques­tions re­lated to their hunt­ing ac­tiv­ity, such as how many deer they har­vested, what hunt­ing meth­ods they had used, where they hunted, the num­ber of days they hunted, and the species of deer har­vested.

GMA chief ex­ec­u­tive Greg Hyams said the re­port found the 2016 deer hunt­ing sea­son yielded record num­bers.

“Sur­veys showed each li­censed deer hunter hunted on about 6.6 days in 2016, or al­most 208,000 hunter days in to­tal, with an av­er­age sea­sonal har­vest of about three deer, the high­est ever recorded,” Mr Hyams said.

“The most com­monly har­vested species in 2016 was sam­bar deer, with an es­ti­mated to­tal har­vest of 80,875, fol­lowed next by fal­low deer, with an es­ti­mated 15,059.

“In to­tal, an es­ti­mated 97,776 deer of all species were har­vested dur­ing the 2016 cal­en­dar year.

“Stalk­ing was the most pre­ferred hunt­ing method used, ac­count­ing for the ma­jor­ity of the har­vest, with scent-trail­ing hounds be­ing the sec­ond most pro­duc­tive tech­nique.

“North­ern and north-eastern Vic­to­ria had the high­est num­bers of deer har­vested dur­ing the year with top five towns Dargo, Mans­field, Li­cola, Jamieson and Myrtle­ford record­ing the great­est num­ber of deer hunt­ing days.”

Mr Hyams said the in­creas­ing har­vest is likely due to the in­creas­ing distri­bu­tion and abun­dance of deer as well as greater num­bers of deer hun­ters in Vic­to­ria.

“Of the 51,000 li­censed game hun­ters in Vic­to­ria, al­most 35,500 or 70 per cent are en­dorsed to hunt deer,” he said.

“There was a bias to­wards fe­male deer be­ing har­vested which sug­gests that deer are be­com­ing sought af­ter for their ta­ble qual­i­ties.

“We recog­nise that deer do have an im­pact on the en­vi­ron­ment and the data ob­tained from this re­port helps to in­form de­ci­sions re­gard­ing their man­age­ment in Vic­to­ria.”

The Vic­to­rian Govern­ment’s sus­tain­able hunt­ing ac­tion plan sup­ports and guides the game hunt­ing’s long-term growth, with spe­cific ac­tions re­lat­ing to im­prov­ing hunt­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties, en­sur­ing sus­tain­abil­ity, pro­mot­ing re­spon­si­ble hunt­ing and ex­pand­ing hunt­ing ben­e­fits.

The govern­ment is also de­vel­op­ing a statewide deer man­age­ment strat­egy.

IN THE SPOT­LIGHT: Vic­to­ria’s Game Man­age­ment Author­ity be­lieves about 98,000 deer of all species were shot in 2016.

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