Deer Control Group

DEER PROJECT ANNUAL REPORT – By Karen Moroney

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MITTA VALLEY LANDCARE GROUP AGM 25 AUGUST, 2018

Since 2015 the MVLG has lead a Project based around Deer and the impact of the ever increasing numbers on our environment and the economic losses it creates for Landholders.

As many of our members are aware, from 2015 to the present day, we have participated in and held a number of Community and Regional meetings to gather information and identify the major issues the emergence of this new pest is creating.

These events identified four broad categories:

Deer, People, Productivity and Environmental Issues.

On a regional scale, this past year has seen some exciting developments occur due to the focused work that has been carried out at grass roots level by Landcare Groups, such as ourselves, in the North East. We have been ably assisted and supported by the North East Catchment Authority, and in particular Lachlan Campbell, I wish to thank you for that support as we all work towards the goal of managing deer and the impacts they create, as it is only by working together that much can be achieved. Regionally our group has had a place at the Regional discussions held twice a year in Wangaratta and which include stakeholders representing from diverse areas of DELWP DETJAR, Parks Victoria, The Game Management Authority,. Regional Shire Councils, CMA’s, VICPOL, ADA and I have most likely overlooked others. From these discussions it became paramount if things were to change to address some critical areas such as carcass removal and use, that the Victorian Legislation was going to have to change to allow for commercial opportunities to allow the harvesting of wild deer for both pet food and human consumption. These legislation changes were passed only around one month ago. This decision has opened up commercial opportunities for those who want to make a transition to a professional shooter or landholders who are looking to control deer numbers and make a passive income. In short this is a “real game changer” and a win win for both harvesters and landholders. WILD Game Resources Australia have been approved by the Vic Govt to develop a model that ensures the professionalism, integrity and quality of the entire collection system. Our group has had the privilege to be a part of this consultation process which will ultimately develop the best model for both harvesters and landholders.

At a local level, we continue to hold events around Deer and this past year we hosted Dave Forsyth an eminent researcher who has looked at methods of managing deer.

We have also purchased some No Hunting Signs for our local community which are available here today.

We continue to monitor opportunities to be involved in this space with the ultimate aim of making a difference to our community and to that end, I have been involved in some local projects such as the Hunting Tourism Initiative led by the Towong Shire Council and spoken at various other venues around the opportunities that exist for commercial businesses around deer and hunting. June. Its been a busy but productive year.

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