Deer man­age­ment op­tions still up in the air

Myrtleford Times - - News -

PARKS Vic­to­ria has la­belled their aerial deer shoot­ing op­er­a­tion tri­alled over Oc­to­ber 16 to 19, a suc­cess.

In to­tal, 119 deer were shot by the pro­fes­sional aerial marks­man in 20 hours of fly­ing time, equat­ing to nearly one ev­ery 10 min­utes.

The he­li­copter was used to tar­get deer in ar­eas around Mt Buf­falo, Mt Feather­top and Mt Pin­ni­bar, which in­cluded in­ac­ces­si­ble and rugged ter­rain.

Dur­ing the op­er­a­tion, air ob­servers were able to iden­tify sig­nif­i­cant track net­works and large wal­lows that had been formed by deer across the park.

An in­de­pen­dent vet was em­ployed to mon­i­tor the an­i­mal wel­fare out­comes.

All car­cass lo­ca­tions were recorded and 10 per cent were ex­am­ined by the vet to en­sure shoot­ing was car­ried out hu­manely. Those near wa­ter­ways were vis­ited and moved where re­quired to pre­vent con­tam­i­na­tion of wa­ter catch­ments.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from key stake­holder groups, in­clud­ing the Aus­tralian Deer As­so­ci­a­tion (ADA), the Sport­ing Shoot­ers As­so­ci­a­tion of Aus­tralia (SSAA), the Game Man­age­ment Au­thor­ity (GMA), the Har­ri­etville Com­mu­nity Fo­rum and the De­part­ment of En­vi­ron­ment, Land Wa­ter and Plan­ning (DELWP) at­tended a brief­ing on the op­er­a­tion on Wed­nes­day 17th.

At the con­clu­sion of the aerial con­trol trial all of the data col­lected will be re­viewed. The re­sults will be com­bined with those from the on­go­ing ground shoot­ing trial to find the best mix of meth­ods to con­trol the deer pop­u­la­tion. This will al­low Parks Vic­to­ria to de­ter­mine the level of deer con­trol re­quired to pro­tect the en­vi­ron­men­tally sen­si­tive ar­eas and the best com­bi­na­tion of tech­niques to use.

An on­go­ing, sus­tain­able, land­scape scale deer con­trol ac­tion plan will then be pre­pared in line with the re­cently re­leased Draft Vic­to­rian Deer Man­age­ment Strat­egy.

Speak­ers from DELWP, Vic­to­ria Po­lice, Game Man­age­ment Aus­tralia and Wild Game Re­sources Aus­tralia will be at the Happy Val­ley Ho­tel next Wed­nes­day No­vem­ber 21 from 6pm for a Deer Man­age­ment In­for­ma­tion Ses­sion.

Regis­ter on­line or call Gayle on 0448 983 109.

All man­age­ment has been done in line with the Com­mon­wealth En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion and Bio­di­ver­sity Con­ser­va­tion Act (1999) and the Vic­to­rian Flora and Fauna Guar­an­tee Act (1988).

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