Em­brace com­mon in­ter­est

Peter Mckenzie, Bendigo, Vic

Field and Game - - RECOIL -

edi­tor@fiel­dandgame.com.au

As some­one who has ex­pe­ri­enced first­hand the “tra­di­tions in the Gipp­s­land area” as writ­ten by John By­ers from Sale branch in the first edi­tion of the new mag­a­zine, I would sug­gest that Gipp­s­land hunters need to be brought up to the twenty first cen­tury and re­alise that hunters are not what we used to be.

There is noth­ing wrong with build­ing a hide with sign­ing but if it is done af­ter Box­ing day or the New Year, how can any­one out­side of the lo­cal get a chance to share the area? What has changed is the mo­bil­ity of hunters and bet­ter com­mu­ni­ca­tions and some hunters who do not re­side within a cou­ple of hun­dred kilo­me­tres of Gipp­s­land want to share the re­sources and don't want to turn up at a pub­lic swamp to find signs mo­nop­o­lis­ing spa­ces, it is not le­gal or moral to think that you “own” that piece of water. As for

Sub­mit your let­ters to

dis­putes, how can you dis­cuss any­thing when the sign says “Jack, Bill or Tosser” and no one in au­thor­ity can be found. Ring the po­lice or GMA and they will tell you it is il­le­gal and ig­nore the sign.

When I first hunted the Sale area over 20 years ago on Fraw­ley's prop­erty, which is now the FGA Heart Mo­rass, I re­mem­ber re­mark­ing to the owner that I thought we had en­tered a ceme­tery for the num­ber of crosses dot­ted all over the swamp which were marker pegs of pre­vi­ous po­si­tions and he agreed that as the owner of the swamp, no one had a right to “mark out an area” on his land, shouldn't the same apply to­day on the Heart as we mem­bers all have a share in it? Whilst you may think mark­ing or sign­ing is the done thing, in all my over 50 years hunt­ing in North­ern Vic­to­ria, it has not been prac­tised or en­trenched es­pe­cially at pub­lic wa­ters.

Now is the time for Gipp­s­land hunters to re­alise they need to change their ways. All signs and hides should be erected within forty eight hours prior and re­moved the day af­ter duck open­ing. All signs should have a con­tact de­tail and any­one not at that spot thirty min­utes prior to the open­ing for­feits that area and any signs or hides left be­hind are null and void for any­one to use.

Duck hunt­ing is a tra­di­tion and we still prac­tise it, but back in the fifties you would use a side by side, lead shot, no waders and a cocker spaniel to re­trieve. Times have changed and so we all should move on and em­brace new stan­dards as we have with our equip­ment and what Gipp­s­lan­ders could do is in­vite out­siders to their hides and spots and em­brace each other as hav­ing a com­mon in­ter­est in hunt­ing.

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