Hunting in NPs

To: <>
Subject: Hunting in NPs
From: "Philip Veerman" <>
Date: Thu, 31 May 2012 21:40:32 +1000
I am concerned about this issue, as are the rest of us, in particular that
this appears not to arise through a well thought out policy, but a cynical
trade-off about an entirely unrelated issue. To placate and obtain a desired
outcome on something else, from a (sadly, democratically elected) lobby
group in parliament. 

I am also concerned that some of our correspondents are concentrating on the
issue of professional or recreational hunters / shooters. It is clear that
NSW NPWS don't have sufficient funds to do all the conservation activities
that should be done. So I am curious at the suggestion that such "control"
as being suggested should only be done by expending limited funds employing
people who are paid, rather than having free help from people who are not
paid. Sure some people are better for the role than others but I don't know
that paid people are necessarily as a group any better than volunteers, just
as professional ornithologists are not necessarily any better ornithologists
than volunteers (i.e. amateurs, noting that most contributors to this line
are variously experienced and skilled amateur ornithologists.) So why does
it need to be done professionally (that is: paid for by the taxpayer)?

The main advantage of professionals that I can see is that they are likely
to only shoot what is asked and paid for and thus controlled. Volunteers
being a whole range of people of varying skills and desires are likely to be
less predictable and lead to the whole range of issues that have been
mentioned. Yet in some circumstances and with proper serious controls,
volunteers could be more effective at reducing feral animals than doing

-----Original Message-----From: 
 On Behalf Of Nikolas Haass
Sent: Thursday, 31 May 2012 4:31 PM     To: Wes Tolhurst;
         Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] Hunting
in NPs

Dear Wes,

Despite all the clarifying e-mails by others you keep incorrectly mixing up
two issues (1) ferals and (2) recreational hunters.
(1) Everyone agrees that ferals (many of which were introduced FOR the
recreational hunters!) need to be eradicated and that this needs to be done

(2) You said that most recreational hunters "have an environmental
conscience and know the animals of the bush far better than most city
greenies". I am not so sure about that. Do you have a statistical proof for
such statements? With the same amount of scientific proof I could say that
most recreational hunters cannot tell a Brush-tailed Rock-Wallaby - and even
less so a Common Wombat - from a Pig.What is 'environmental conscience'? I
know people who love 'nature' but they are talking of golf courses, farm
fields, pine tree monocultures, gardens with exotic plants...!

There is need for clear definitions and facts.My point here is that we have
to be professional! You can't argue the way you do.



Nikolas Haass

Sydney, NSW

From: Wes Tolhurst <>To:
 Sent: Thursday, May 31, 2012 2:12 PM
Subject: Hunting in NPs
Dear Storm and Others,

I wonder whether a pig can tell the difference between a mallard or a swan
or a freckled duck.  One of the reasons I picked up a compound bow and
started hunting on my birding trips was because I would see things like pigs
feeding on semi-fledged brolgas and not be able to do a single thing about
it.  The hunters (and I exclude those that hunt native Australian birds like
the knuckle headed duck shooters from this bracket) I know are nearly all
rec hunters.  And all of the ones I am friends with have an environmental
conscience and know the animals of the bush far better than most city
greenies I know (and yes I know heaps of them too).  

I think it is pure trickery to cite one or two examples of people that have
done the wrong thing paint hunters across the board as being tarred with the
same brush.  That's infantile logic.  Perhaps we should claim that the ref
in the latest State of Origin did a less than par job therefore all refs are
gooses!  I'm sorry, I digress :)

And though not every hunter hunts for feral eradication, I am one hunter
would be be ecstatic if every feral was gone and I had to sell my bow.  I
know there are some that do the wrong thing but I believe this is a very
very small percetage - given the many that I interact with.  

I am not so naive to think that the political manoeuvring doesn't seem a bit
suss.  But I know that every time I take out a feral, it means that there
are going to be many more natives have a fairer go.  And I believe that does
make a difference.  I choose to use a bow because it has the smallest
environmental impact... they are silent, have a short effective range (50
metres) and very effective.  

If pro shooting was being so effective, then we would have no ferals - the
truth is that there are more now than there ever have been.  And we are all
responsible for that.  Let's do all we can to give our natives a chance.  

Eric, you said "Why would they want access to national parks when pest
species are already widespread across vast public areas of the state?"  The
only places hunters can legally hunt ferals atm is on private land or with
special permission (the same system being suggested for NP) in some state
forests.  Contrary to your comment, National Parks are actually public
areas.  They were set up for the public's enjoyment of natural wonders.  It
is very difficult for most guys in NSW to find somewhere to hunt because
they are mostly restricted to private land.  Contrary to what many believe,
in the State Forests, to get access you need to do a thorough training
course to receive an R License, then apply to hunt a specific place at a
specific time, a specific way.  e.g.  Some forests or bow only.  You need to
demonstrate exactly where the hunt is (away from any areas that may hold
general public etc).  After all that, you need to report feral activity

Bob, I have before read the quote that Ground shooting of pigs is not
effective in reducing the pig populations etc.  It was a government
organisation that made that claim so we can read "it was not cost effective
in reducing..."  They only have limited funds for feral erradication. 
Usually they concentrate on baiting (now there is a truely inhuman practice)
or aerial shooting - very effective but very expensive.  

All that is required for evil (feral animals) to prosper is for good men to
do nothing.  

Are some of you trying to tell me that if you had an endangered nesting bird
on your own property and knew that a fox was stalking it you wouldn't do
whatever you were legally entitled to do to protect the birds?  Of course
you would.  Same principle in my opinion.  

I think we're all on the same team really.  Just different perspectives.  


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