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Vic Shooter November 2018_Page_01
Victorian Shooter
Hunting and Pest Control
Firearms training

Leading Sports Shooting Body

The Sporting Shooters Association of Australia (Victoria) was incorporated as a public company on October 1, 1973. We exist to promote the shooting sports and protect firearm owners' interests.

With more than 36,000 members, SSAA Victoria is a leading body representing licensed firearm owners in Victoria. SSAA Victoria has more than a dozen branches and more than 30 sub-clubs and disciplines within the organisation.

SSAA Victoria News

Hunting Masterclass includes free Junior program

The Gamebird Hunting Essentials Masterclass (formerly Shotgunning Education Program) returns with two courses at the SSAA Victoria Eagle Park range on February 16 and 17. Beginner and novice shooters can book for Feb 16, while a special junior program is scheduled for Feb 17 with free entry. The program is designed to assist Australian hunters in the use of non-toxic shot and to provide education material which will assist game bird hunters in equipment selection, development of key shooting and hunting skills and proven hunting strategies and techniques. It is endorsed and delivered through the cooperation of the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia (Victoria) (SSAA) and Field & Game Australia (FGA). This one-day course provides information to hunters to improve their skills, as well as hands-on practical training, which will help improve the collection of game and ensure that game bird hunting is sustainable and humane. It will then look at pattern testing a shotgun to various distances and choke/load combinations and compare the results to the Tom Roster’s Nontoxic Shot Lethality Table as adapted for Australian Game Birds. Hunting skills are then honed by examining, demonstrating and practicing distance estimation (for target acquisition) and shooting skills (simulated target practice). To encourage more of our young hunters to participate, the Junior masterclass on February 17 is free of charge. Juniors must be accompanied by an adult (who will supervise only). Click here to book for the junior hunter Masterclass. Or here for the beginner/novice Masterclass.

New signs that hunting has Government support

Signage at State Game Reserves and deer hunting areas shows SHAP is delivering

Parks Victoria has installed more than three hundred new signs in State Game Reserves across Victoria and 35 in deer hunting areas as part of a state-wide plan to improve hunting opportunities. The new signs are an important component of the Victorian Government’s Sustainable Hunting Action Plan (SHAP), which aims to promote responsible hunting, grow its benefits, improve opportunities and ensure sustainable hunting. Parks Victoria completed the installation of 360 new signs and information totems at 130 State Game Reserves and parks that permit duck and deer hunting across Victoria. These signs will help people to identify State Game Reserves, increase awareness of where hunting is permitted, increase knowledge of hunting conditions and opportunities, and help hunters comply with relevant regulations. “This signage is important to our members because it makes it clear, to both hunters and non-hunters, that hunting is a legal activity in a particular area,” said SSAA Victoria Hunting Development Manager, David Laird. “Clear signage removes any ambiguity and also demonstrates progress under the Sustainable Hunting Action Plan; which we fully support.” The signs clearly identify hunting sites and provide hunters with information on hunting conditions, seasons and regulations. They also feature the RESPECT logo, which is a reminder to hunt responsibly and is widely recognised within the hunting community. To develop the signage and ensure it is effective and useful, Parks Victoria worked closely with a number of organisations including SSAA Victoria, the Australian Deer Association, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Field and Game Australia and Game Management Authority. “This is a significant milestone for Parks Victoria in supporting sustainable hunting and enabling all Victorians to make the best use of public land,” said Parks Victoria Program Coordinator Sustainable Hunting Action Plan, Mark Pinney. “Parks Victoria works together with many groups to ensure Victoria’s natural environment is healthy and accessible for a range of recreational activities.” The SHAP, released in 2016 with an investment of $5.3 million by the Victorian Government, aims to address the issues raised in the Game Management Authority’s State Game Reserve Audit and deliver practical actions to benefit the environment, the economy, community and hunters.

Newbury: no ban on duck season

Recently elected Liberal Party Member for Brighton, James Newbury, assured SSAA Victoria he does not support a ban on duck season. Mr Newbury was in the news recently after he used his maiden speech to the Victorian Parliament in December to attack duck hunting. “For three months each year, duck hunters — who represent half of 1 per cent of Victorians — kill and bag up to 10 ducks per day,” Mr Newbury told the Parliament. “Though hunters are required to carry out ducks killed, hundreds of birds, including endangered species supposedly protected from being shot, are found dead during the season. “Victoria’s natural environment and wildlife are a unique part of this state’s identity and a modern Liberal Party must speak out on behalf of the promotion and preservation of them.” SSAA Victoria Hunting Development Manager David Laird and Communications Manager Justin Law met with Mr Newbury on January 21 to discuss his speech. At the meeting Mr Newbury assured SSAA Victoria that he was not in favour of a ban on duck hunting. However, he did have concerns, shared by SSAA Victoria, about illegal and unethical behaviour demonstrated by some shooters and the lack of effective enforcement of the current regulations. “The critically low enforcement resources are often tied up with handling protestors out on the water meaning any illegal activity cannot be effectively monitored,” Mr Laird said. “We hope Mr Newbury can use what influence he has to improve Game Management Authority funding to address this issue. “It is also hoped our visit was able to balance some of his perceptions and emotionally based responses to duck hunting.” He was informed of the Association’s involvement with the RESPECT – Hunt Responsibly initiative, the Shotgun Education Program, the Association’s hunting Code of Conduct and the role hunters have long-played in the protection of wetland habitat. “He has also been invited to attend a duck hunt during the season to enable him to see first-hand what responsible hunting is about,” Mr Laird said. The Association will be monitoring Mr Newbury’s future public comments on duck hunting in the hope that he will be more understanding of the activity and the people who participate in it. “Hunters are tired of the endless bigotry levelled at them by people who do not understand the desire to put fresh shot food on their family table,” Mr Law said. “Humans have always hunted and in other cultures hunting is respected and protected. Why should we be treated differently? “Our members and the tens of thousands of other hunters who enjoy this legal and legitimate activity expect the same respect. “All we want is a fair go for responsible people.”  

New CPM manager appointed

SSAA Victoria State Office welcomes a new team member this week with the appointment of a new Conservation and Pest Management program assistant manager. Savvas Savva takes on the role from January 21 to fill a vacancy left by Rhys Coote who is taking his family on the adventure of a lifetime before settling interstate. The CPM assistant manager role involves coordinating the many volunteers who take part in pest and problem animal control programs through the year on Parks Victoria managed land. Savvas has run his own pest management service for the past three years and understands the needs of landowners and other organisations who have issues with pests. “It’s good to be a part of an organisation committed to achieving positive conservation outcomes,” he said. “I look forward to working closely with our many volunteers and bringing them together with the appropriate Parks Victoria programs to use their particular skills. Savvas will also look at expanding the Farmer Assist program. “My experience in working with farmers means I have a good understanding of their needs and expectations. “So one of my key tasks will be to further develop our relationships with farmers in rural Victoria to provide pest control opportunities for our members.” Savvas will be working through the many volunteers on the SSAA Victoria CPM database to match them with real opportunities to shoot. He is reporting to Hunting Development Manager David Laird who said he was looking forward to continuing to find ways to provide hunting opportunities for SSAA Victoria members. “It’s important that we provide members who have proven themselves to be competent shooters the opportunity to be involved in control programs,” he said. “We expect there to be more opportunities, but to ensure those opportunities we need to maintain the skill levels of our volunteers and ensure all targeted animals are dispatched humanely. “Our CPM Accreditation Course is designed to ensure we set and maintain a high standard of volunteers.” The next CPM Accreditation Course is due in April this year.
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