Freckled Ducks, Hunting and the Bigger Picture

To: Birding-aus <>
Subject: Freckled Ducks, Hunting and the Bigger Picture
From: John Leonard <>
Date: Thu, 28 Mar 2013 09:09:08 +1100
Or, you could just take the view that duck hunting should be banned in
Victoria as it is in other states.

John Leonard

On 27 March 2013 16:15, 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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John Leonard

I want to be with the 9,999 other things.

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