Duck shooters as conservationists

To: <>
Subject: Duck shooters as conservationists
From: "Karen Pearson" <>
Date: Sat, 25 Jan 2003 01:03:42 +1100
 Paul Coddington said;
> I lived in the US for several years, where hunting (for ducks, deer, bear,
> etc etc) is incredibly popular. For example in many parts of rural
> Pennsylvania (where my wife grew up) the opening of deer season is a
> holiday!

----- snip for brevity

I would really hope that we never get to the stage of going the US way.
Mainly, I would always prefer that my two daughters think of shooting
wildlife for recreation as not 'the done thing' and well, to be totally
honest, pretty abhorent.    I would personally also hope that wetlands in
Australia could be maintained in other ways, rather than by people that I
consider have motivating agenda's that primarily, when brought down to the
basics, is of producing as many moving game species targets as they can.

I  also believe America still has many problems with hunting, as was shown
recently with the Trumpeter Swan article posted to birding-aus.  I am aware
of others, some that you mentioned, but even of a treasured tourist
attraction, a huge moose  in Yellowstone, from memory, being shot dead by
hunters.  I also question the validity of conservation aimed predominately
at one bird type ie; ducks in large numbers, to perhaps the detriment of
other wetland dependant wildlife.

Personally, I believe that whatever has been tried in Australia in regards
to duck shooting has failed and has little chance of ever improving.    The
RSPCA inspectors reports the below;
Comments from RSPCA Inspectors present at the 1994 Victorian duck season
  a.. It is not possible for relevant government departments or the police
to enforce existing legislation relating to duck shooting.
  b.. There were vast areas of the state where shooting goes on without
  c.. Shooting commenced before conditions allowed accurate identification
of species.
  d.. In unmonitored areas shooting commenced up to 40 minutes before the
allotted time.
  e.. Many shots were fired at extreme range where accurate species
identification and the chance of a clean kill were highly unlikely.
  f.. Observations were made of ducks being wounded but not brought down.
  g.. A number of shooters were observed to continue shooting rather than
following-up and recovering downed birds.
  h.. An estimated 95% of shots fired did not meet their target and would
have been deposited in the water and on dry land. In states where lead shot
is still used this represents a serious pollution risk.
  i.. Other species of birds were seen to be frightened or distressed by the
shooting. Birds can become exhausted after flying around for hours and have
difficulty maintaining height.
After being out on the wetlands during duck shooting season and witnessing
what goes on,  I can vouch for the above ten-fold.    I could add lots more
too, stories that would make any  bird lover livid.  That is what motivates
me to continue being vehemently opposed to duck shooting in Australia for
well over 10 years.

Karen Pearson.

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