Freckled Ducks, Hunting and the Bigger Picture

To: David Richardson <>
Subject: Freckled Ducks, Hunting and the Bigger Picture
From: Chris Sanderson <>
Date: Wed, 27 Mar 2013 20:47:23 +1100
Thanks Nick for providing some balance to the argument!  I certainly know
some conservation-minded shooters who are no doubt cringing at this news.
 In fact I think probably many shooters are reading these news articles and
thinking "you buggers are ruining it for the rest of us".  At least I hope
they are, because peer pressure is likely to be far more effective than
pester-power in achieving improvements in hunting behaviour.  I'm not
certain the bad behaviour of birders (which undoubtedly happens and is
likely more common than we'd like to think) is comparable to the senseless
slaughter of hundreds of protected birds though.  Perhaps egg collecting or
poaching would be a better counter-example, as no doubt there have been
people interested in birds and bird-watching who have strayed down that
path in the past.

I do know that polarising this issue puts us on the losing side, as there
are many, many more hunters than birders, and while this is a political
issue that means we can't win.  Perhaps considering Nick's idea of talking
to the hunting lobby as equals with a vested interest in conservation has
some merit?


On Wed, Mar 27, 2013 at 8:08 PM, David Richardson <
> wrote:

> Well written Mr Leseberg.Food for thought.
> D. Richardson.
> On Wed, Mar 27, 2013 at 4:15 PM, Nick Leseberg <
> >wrote:
> >
> > Dear Sonja et al,
> >
> > I think we as birders need to be very careful how we approach this
> > particular event. The broad statement that "I don't think shooters would
> > consider it a waste or mindless" is unhelpful and attempts to tar all
> > shooters with the same brush. There are many responsible shooters out
> there
> > who are very aware of the rules applied to regulate their chosen pastime,
> > and who abide by those rules. There are plenty of birders who disregard
> or
> > blatantly flout the rules associated with our pastime, approaching nests
> > too closely (see the recent thread concerning the nesting Red Goshawks at
> > Mataranka), using excessive playback when photographing birds etc, but
> > there is no suggestion that birding should be banned. Likewise there are
> > hunters who will disregard or blatantly flout the rules pertaining to
> > hunting. As birders and people generally concerned for the environment,
> we
> > must be sure to direct our efforts at ensuring the rules that exist are
> > enforced and that those who flout them are puni
> >  shed accordingly, rather than simply decrying the existence of duck
> > shooters as a fraternity, because one or even a minority of duckshooters
> > broke the rules.
> >
> > This raises the follow-on question of whether the rules and regulations
> > which apply to hunting are adequate, an issue for which there is no easy
> > answer. Several species of duck are not endangered and could quite easily
> > sustain a level of harvesting that would not affect their population.
> Just
> > as there is a program for management of macropod populations in some
> rural
> > areas, a program whereby people are permitted to sustainably hunt certain
> > duck species is unlikely to have any significant effects on the
> populations
> > of those species. If such a program is effectively managed and policed I
> > can only see benefits. What if the money raised from such a program was
> put
> > towards the conservation of sensitive wetlands, as occurs in the United
> > States where the hunting lobby is also a very effective conservation
> group?
> > I have often wondered why organisations which ultimately have similar
> goals
> > are not able to unite in some way to further both their interests.
> >
> > If the issue is that shooting ducks is inhumane due to the probability
> > that birds will be left wounded, then we should make this clear also. Is
> > there possibly a balance that can be reached here? What if those rules
> and
> > regulations that try to mitigate these problems can be better enforced,
> > perhaps with the help of conservation volunteers? Would that satisfy
> > organisations like the Coalition Against Duck Shooting? Could the
> > organisations on both sides of this argument meet at some level to come
> up
> > with an accord where they agree to disagree on some issues, but also
> commit
> > to working together to solve other problems and also advance the causes
> of
> > both organisations on issues such as wetland conservation, shooter/birder
> > education etc.
> >
> > So, before the hate mail starts rolling in, I want to make it clear that
> > my intention here is not to defend duck shooting. The incident that
> > occurred in NW Vic was abhorrent and we as bird lovers should voice our
> > disgust and ensure that the perpetrator(s) feel the full weight of the
> law.
> > When looking at the bigger picture though, we need to be articulate and
> > direct about what our issues are. If we have a particular problem with
> duck
> > hunting we need to make that clear, and we also need to ensure we can
> > justify why it is a problem and how this problem can be solved. Broad
> brush
> > statements such as "duck shooters are murdering innocent wildlife and
> > should be stopped" are not helpful, and simply force the opposing groups
> > further apart. In reality, the abolition of duck hunting in Victoria (and
> > perhaps looking further ahead, NSW) doesn't seem to be an option, so
> let's
> > think outside the box and be creative in coming up with ways we can
> > approach this problem and get a better outcome
> >  for all involved.
> >
> > Regards and good birding (as he boards up his windows and doors, and
> turns
> > off his phone and email!!)
> >
> > Nick Leseberg
> >
> >
> >
> > ===============================
> >
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> >
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