The Victorian Draft Deer Management Strategy has been released for public comment and members are invited to have your say. A copy is available through the link at the bottom of the page.
The strategy is a commitment from the Sustainable Hunting Action Plan 2016-2020. SSAA Victoria has been heavily involved behind the scenes in the development of the strategy and attended a major workshop in June. The Association has continually stressed that as it came out of a hunting plan the strategy must provide benefits to hunters through the provision of sustainable deer hunting opportunities. The Association has worked hard to ensure that hunters’ interests have been represented and protected in the development of the strategy.
There are many competing and often conflicting voices in the current deer debate. There were certainly times when the Association felt that there were attempts by some stakeholders to hijack the strategy. Those attempts, along with simplistic calls by some to declare deer pests and turn the strategy into an anti-deer forum, were strongly rejected. It should be noted that Australian Dear Association, Game Management Authority and Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources were very supportive in this area.
In spite of different views on some issues there is no doubt that there is also a lot of common ground. The Association is satisfied that the guiding principles outlined in the strategy are appropriate and should safeguard future deer hunting opportunities in Victoria.
However, the reality is that the devil will always be in the detail of a strategy such as this. The implementation of the strategy will ultimately determine how the deer and hunters fare. SSAA Victoria will continue to closely monitor the situation to ensure the strategy is not hijacked by other interest groups and actually delivers for hunters as much as possible.
The Association recognises that there is not a single solution that will satisfy all interest groups or be effective in all circumstances. There are aspects to the strategy that are certainly concerning, but at least the draft strategy provides a transparent framework where coordinated management can occur. There is significant potential for different stakeholders, including hunters, to work together in many cases with wins for all concerned.
SSAA Victoria will work through the final draft document in detail and make a formal submission. Individual members are also encouraged to have their say as well. The draft strategy and survey are available at the following link: