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Vic Shooter February 2019
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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

Don't get sucked in by extremists this weekend

Video all interaction with anti-duck hunting activists is the key message for hunters as duck season comes to an end half an hour after sunset on Sunday, May 19. This weekend is the last opportunity for the year for our duck hunters to get out and enjoy a social gathering, celebrate their hunting traditions and ensure they have a few ducks in the freezer to see them through until next season. Hunters are warned that protester activity is anticipated in some areas, with Lake Connewarre expected to be a focus, but video evidence is a powerful tool against their lies and exaggerations. "An activist made serious allegations in relation to being struck by a vehicle driven by a duck hunter this season," said SSAA Victoria Hunting Development Manager David Laird. "It is fortunate the hunter in question had dash-cam footage that clearly showed what had happened. "Victoria Police investigations into the incident are ongoing, but the damning allegations of the activist and her colleagues were clearly exposed as lies by the dash-cam footage." Mr Laird said the activists have struggled for traction this season as hunter behaviour has been good across the state. They will be looking for any last-minute controversy or conflict that they can generate to further their radical agenda. He attended a meeting at Connewarre recently with representatives from Field and Game Australia, Australian Deer Association, Game Management Authority and local police to discuss protester activity in the area. The advice given by police is for hunters to:
  • video record any interactions with activists,
  • remain polite and calm, and
  • obey the law.
“Remember that your actions reflect on all duck hunters and the cultural activity of duck hunting itself,” Mr Laird said. “Activists will attempt to provoke a reaction and then use edited footage to portray duck hunters as aggressive and dangerous. “Do not get sucked in by them. They are extremists and some of them will go to any lengths to further their agenda. “Footage taken by hunters that shows activist behaviour can be used to put interactions into perspective.” Hunters have the right to go about their lawful activity without hinderance by activists. If activists are blocking your way in public areas, such as boat ramps or roadways, record the interaction and politely ask them to move. If they continue to obstruct you then call the police. If activists approach you or hinder your hunt on a wetland, again, record the interaction. Such video should then be referred to police or GMA. Hunters should be prepared to make a statement and explain how the activist hindered their hunt. It is recommended that any members who face harassment, intimidation or hinderance from activists before, during or after their hunt contact Mr Laird on 8892 2777 to discuss the matter. SSAA Victoria will help refer the matter to the correct agency for investigation. “Hunters just want to be able to go about their hunting without interference,” Mr Laird said. “They don’t want to have to record interactions and waste good hunting time dealing with extremist activists. Unfortunately, it is becoming a necessity in situations where activists confront hunters. “If you are faced with activist interference the advice is to take one for the team. Be prepared to sacrifice your immediate hunt to be able to provide information that might lead to a conviction against these people. “Take heart in the fact that while these idiots might be wrecking your day, the evidence you gather may well wreck theirs down the track. “Also take heart in the fact that while they are disrupting you, other hunters are able to hunt unhindered. “Hunters are held to account for their actions. It is about time these extremist activists were as well.” Enjoy the last weekend of the season.

Bad weather stalls aerial deer cull

Adverse weather conditions have prevented Parks Victoria from completing its deer aerial shooting trial which commenced on Tuesday, May 7. PV said the operation will resume on Wednesday, May 15 and, subject to weather conditions, continue until Friday, May 17. The areas of the park subject to shooting will be closed on these dates but the park is open this weekend (May 11-12). The shooting trial will be conducted in the Mt Bogong, Bogong High Plains and Mt Feathertop areas of the Alpine National Park.  No shooting will occur within 300m of any private property or public roads adjacent to the Deer Control Area boundary. The Great Alpine Road, the Bogong High Plains Road and Wallace’s Hut will remain open. While the shooting areas will be closed, large areas of the park will remain open to visitors, including Mountain Creek Camping Area and visitor sites along the Mitta Mitta River. Mt Buffalo National Park, Mt Hotham and Falls Creek Alpine Resorts, and Dinner Plain will not be affected. PV also said some areas of the Alpine National Park have been affected by fire and are currently closed. For up-to-date information on fire affected areas, visit parkweb.vic.gov.au.

Repairs get off on wrong foot

Repairs to Eagle Park's Main Range 1 have hit a stumbling block with old footings discovered rear of the range under the concrete slab. The discovery was made by contractors digging holes for the new footings just prior to Easter and now means a redesign of the replacement roof, delaying construction by at least two weeks. "It's disappointing to hit an unforeseen snag after all the processes we've gone through to get to this stage," said SSAA Victoria Facilities Manager Shaun Doyle. "We've had delays in getting approvals for altered engineering plans and then getting approvals from the underwriters. Now to find old footings under the concrete is very frustrating.” The building contractor had its engineer inspect the footings to investigate whether they could be strengthened and reused for the new structure. However, the quantity of the concrete and unknown depth of each footing meant attempting to reuse them would add considerable time and cost to the project. Additionally, all the holes for the footings for the front posts had already been dug so shifting the structure sideways would mean redoing that work. “The engineer determined that the old footings were not suitable without significant works,” Mr Doyle said. “So, the recommendation is to extend the depth of the rear of the range by 500mm to allow new footings to be constructed. “The change requires the roof to be redesigned to allow for this extra width and the builder is now waiting on new plans from the engineer. “The project will then need to be requoted to include the cost of extending the concrete slab and the new quote will then need to be approved by the underwriters. “It is estimated that this process will take two weeks and we’re hopeful construction can recommence immediately afterwards.” The roof over Main Range 1 was extensively damaged in September last year when a freak gust of wind ripped up dyna bolts securing the structure to concrete footings.

SSAA member shoots for Indi

Aspiring political candidate for the Federal seat of Indi Northern Victoria, Mark Byatt has been a long-time member of the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia. Mark was raised on a dairy farm at Cudgewa in far North East Victoria, where as a teenager, shooting was part of a day-to-day rural life. In those times as a school student at Corryong High, Mark recalls “shooting was also a regular activity within the school sporting curriculum, with regular clay target shoots at the Corryong clay target range. It was a great experience for regional students of the day”. Mark has since had an impressive work career and involvement in leading key regional development agencies and community associations. He was in local government as a councillor of eight years (including five years as Mayor) with the City of Wodonga. Mark is now putting his hat in the ring for a seat in the Federal Parliament, endeavouring to win the Federal Electorate of Indi as the National Party of Australia’s pre-selected candidate. “I’m often asked, ‘Why politics?’ My response is that my heart is in the region, I am a product of the region, the majority of my career has been in regional development, and I believe strongly in the potential of regional Australia as a key part of the nation’s future growth and prosperity agenda. I like to think I have something to offer at the political table for the betterment of regional people”. Mark has extensive government, business and community networks. Importantly, he has a very good understanding of all tiers of government, and has well established experience in advocating for a fair share across rural and regional Victoria including in multiple terms leading Regional Cities Victoria and Regional Capitals Australia. With such a diverse and dynamic background, it’s amazing he finds time to run an Angus cattle farm with his wife, and still get the odd shot in eradicating feral pests. Mark has been a member of SSAA since 1996 and is a long-term member of the Antique and Historical Firearm Collectors Guild of Victoria. Mark says he has been impressed with how the SSAA has responded to the expectations of modern society with the development of sensible and workable policies and standards that balance community outlooks and the needs of a diverse range of shooter cohorts. Mark says, “Responsible management of sports shooting has long been at the heart of the SSAA’s charter, with great success. With feral pest numbers continually on the rise, I can see a day when pest management strategies and practices will routinely incorporate the value of SSAA member shooters in practice. This largely volunteer cohort, if used appropriately and within the best possible governance frameworks, can perform a valuable service to society, particularly in rural and regional communities”. Now Mark enjoys time shooting with his son Mitcham (also a SSAA member), getting out occasionally for an afternoon or spotlighting excursion, although he admits to not allocating enough time to get out regularly. We suspect the schedule might get even tighter if he is successful in the campaign for Indi! I’m sure many sporting clubs would welcome him for a shoot down the track.
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