To: Graeme Gallienne <>
Subject: Shooters
From: Chris Sanderson <>
Date: Thu, 14 Apr 2011 17:09:59 +1000
Hi Sandra,

I definitely agree not all shooters are bad people, and I also believe you
when you say birding and shooting are not mutually exclusive.  My
grandfather co-founded the Ballandean Gun Club down near Stanthorpe, and his
wife, my grandmother, was the major influence in my life that got me into
birds and birdwatching.  That's all well and good while what you are
shooting at is a paper or clay target.  My objections start arising when I
hear things like "want to introduce new mammals like Antelope", or "want
permission to shoot in national parks", or "want to reintroduce a duck
season".  Seriously, forget for a minute we are talking about shooting and
guns, and read the subtext here from an environmental point of view.

Point A could be better phrased as "want to introduce a new and potentially
damaging feral animal into the Australian environment" (like we really need
any more).

Point B could be "we want an excuse to shoot in national parks, but we'll
never actually get rid of feral animals because then we won't be allowed
back in anymore".  Really, where is the incentive to actually remove ferals
from an area when they can't continue their hobby/sport if they succeed?
 Assuming it could even be done, and that there wouldn't be collateral
damage through native fauna being shot accidentally (which I highly doubt is
possible on both counts).

Point C, sadly, reads as "non bird experts trying to identify birds in the
dark in a fraction of a second before pulling the trigger".  The results of
which, clearly, leave a lot to be desired currently, with Freckled Duck and
other non-target species taking a hit.

Honestly, I have no issues with people who want to shoot as a sport.  But at
non-living targets, in places not designated for the protection of wildlife,
and in ways that don't further damage our environment please.

Chris Sanderson

On Thu, Apr 14, 2011 at 2:54 PM, Graeme Gallienne <>wrote:

> Hi all,
> It seems to me that a lot of birders know nothing about shooters.  I do,
> I'm
> married to one - a very responsible one!  Does the birding community know
> anything about how the SSAA properties are run?  All the properties I know
> of in Queensland are run as NATURE REFUGES - all native wildlife is
> protected and the SSAA is happy for birders to do surveys etc on these
> properties.  I know for example that Bundamba Lagoon at Ripley is on a SSAA
> property and is a site that is monitored monthly by local bird clubs.
> I have been to the SSAA property at Captain's Mountain (Milmerran) several
> times in the past few years with "The Gold Coast Gun Club" of which my
> husband is a member.  I have access to the entire property in complete
> safety, the only stipulation being that I stay away from the various ranges
> - all of which are for target only shooting.  In fact, if an animal such as
> a Grey Kangaroo or a bird such as an emu (and yes once when I was there an
> emu with 7 chicks walked onto the range) the entire shooting competition is
> stopped until the animal walks off the range and is at a safe distance away
> before the competition can resume.  All competitions are supervised by a
> Range Officer and the rules are adhered to with every "i" dotted and "t"
> crossed to the letter of the law.
> The attitude of the club members to a "mad keen birder" in their presence
> has slowly changed over the times I have attended.  To start with I was
> somewhat of a curiosity and the butt of some jokes about greenies but the
> last time I went out there (and I took a friend from my Club) (March 2011)
> a
> lot of the shooters were even becoming interested in birds and what we were
> seeing, especially the Glossy Black Cockatoos as these are a bird they've
> heard about due to the GBC Conservancy efforts on the Gold Coast and GBC's
> are also found on the Captains Mountain property.  In May, members of our
> birding club (BrisBOCA) have been invited out for the weekend, once more
> with the Gold Coast Gun Club.  The subject of duck shooting is bound to
> arise but what better opportunity to change someone's viewpoint - there's
> plenty of opportunity for shooting without ducks needing to be the target
> and that's the message we need to get across - not one of banning
> responsible shooting altogether.
> It seems to me that the birding community could do more to engage with
> shooters and also possibly fishermen instead of being so negative.  After
> all, we are all people who enjoy the great outdoors.  Education and
> friendship wins a lot more battles than criticism and judgemental attitudes
> based on prejudices.   And, on the question of feral animal control - I own
> a property and my husband and daughter have between them shot 16 feral pigs
> and 3 feral dogs in the 11 years we have lived here - no native animals
> have
> been harmed, a lot of my property is being allowed to return to native
> vegetation and my birdlist is at 156 species, some of which are on the
> Vulnerable list.  A shooter who also cares about wildlife lives here!
> Shooting in National Parks is an entirely different proposition and would
> need the park to be "closed" for a certain period if feral animal control
> was the aim.  It would need to be strictly controlled and limited to
> specially licensed shooters.
> Cheers,
> Sandra Gallienne
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