birding-aus Queensland Duck & Quail "Harvest Period"

Subject: birding-aus Queensland Duck & Quail "Harvest Period"
From: (Syd Curtis)
Date: Mon, 24 May 1999 16:38:32 +1000

On 23 May 1999, in commenting on Queensland's hunting season for ducks and
quail Ron Hughes expressed amusement at the terminology "harvest period"
and he wrote:

>( Quail live in grassland and are probably more threatened by
>agriculture than hunters ) Again the mind boggles. Is this some
>sort of official insult on the skills ( ? ) of the hunter, an inducement
>for them to redouble their efforts. Or is it, as I see it, an admission
>that the birds, far from being a problem are already in trouble and
>the hunters are only an irritation than the real threat.
>Anyway do these favoured few present any real problems or are
>they like everything else covered in feather or fur on this planet
>suffering from enough harassment and improvement as it is.

I surmise that the questions are rhetorical, but there is an implication in
his remarks that the reason for allowing the hunting is that the birds are
"problems".  Not so.  We have harvest seasons because hunters want them.

Provision for harvest seasons is made in the "Nature Conservation Act 1992"
and Regulations thereunder.  Section 4 of that Act states quite bluntly
that -

        "The object of this Act is the conservation of nature."

And the sole reason for there being such a provision contrary to the very
object of the Act is the desire of the hunters. Surely this is but part of
the wider question of gun laws.  (Hunting as a means of providing food for
survival is no longer a part of the scene.)

The reason the advertisement refers to "harvest season" is because that is
the terminology in the Regulation.  Under the Fauna Conservation Act, which
was in force prior to the Nature Conservation Act, the term "Open Season"
was used.  Is that any better?  I think not.

If Queensland subscribers to birding-aus have a problem with the term
"harvest period" or with allowing the hunting at all, please remember both
have been sanctioned by Parliament, so take the matter up with your local
member and the Premier.

Syd Curtis

(Once Assistant Director (Legislation) in Q.NP&WS - but well before 1992!)

>Hi all,
>Annette Cooke posted the following on 16/5/99.
>Date sent:              Sun, 16 May 1999 08:29:32 +1000
>Subject:                birding-aus Qld Duck and Quail Harvest Periods
>> The ad in Saturday May 15 Qld. Courier-Mail (Monitor p.26) for the above
>> is illustrated by a duck that looks suspiciously like a freckled duck.
>> Does this mean that a duck with this sort of profile is OK to "harvest",
>> for is it just that the people who wrote and approved the ad don't know
>> which are endangered ducks?
>> Annette Cooke
>I too noted the same advert and was amused at the terminology "
>Harvest Periods" and wondered if this was some sort of agreed
>terminology  between the powers that be and the ducks and quail
>Naturally this could re-start a tiresome thread on the ethics of
>hunting, or "Harvesting" as some in the community would prefer.
>This is not my intention as I am sure it would bore the pants of
>those of you who have been through it all before.
>However I checked out the web site noted in the article to see
>which ducks and quail had been conned into agreeing to this
>scheme without realizing the full implications.
> I found that Maned ( wood ) Duck and Pacific Black Duck were
>included.Not such a surprise as I can see them on a daily basis
>and therefore perhaps not too thin on the ground but again I wonder
>if they had been fully informed.
>The surprise was to see both the Wandering and Plumed Whistling
>Duck included as well.
>To date, my birding experience has been limited to a relatively
>small area around Brisbane and for all I know the Whistling Ducks
>are in plague proportions from one end of the land to the other,
>other than in the Brisbane area that is.  I will not embarrass myself
>in revealing just how rarely I have spotted this later pair but perhaps
>some of you could enlighten this poor unfortunate on how common
>they are and if they are indeed a ' problem ' in some areas.
>This led to the quail and it seems the Stubble and Swamp/Brown
>quail have been conned into participating in this wonderful venture.
>Again my limited experience causes me some embarrassment as
>I've  had  only rare glimpses of the wee craters and would not dare
>to make a claim as to what the fleeting glimpses related to. This
>apparently does not cause the experienced hunter any problem as
>he is required to take a Quail identification test before he is allowed
>out in the field. I can just imagine the sighs of relief from the quails
>relatives who may have feared inclusion in this years cull, sorry
>The site is worth a visit and if you follow it
>through to the relevant " Harvest Period " page there are a few
>chuckles to be had at the tortured logic contained.
>For example ( Hunting is only allowed during daylight ) why? Would
>it not be more fun if confined to the hours of darkness. I am sure it
>would only increase the pleasure of our Charlton clones who would
>surely relish the additional challenge involved in carefully
>discriminating between all those seemingly identical little feathered
>balls and the other fearless hunters.

>Ron Hughes
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H Syd Curtis

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