Three out of 11 volunteer hopefuls will now be able to participate in Conservation and Pest Management operations following a shooting assessment on the weekend.
These three SSAA Victoria members showed they had the shooting skill required to take part in the CPM program after successfully completing the Association’s updated CPM Accreditation Course.
“The new course ensures that we are supplying a high standard of accredited volunteers for the program,” said SSAA Victoria CPM Manager Rhys Coote.
Developed with SSAA Victoria’s Assistant Manager Training and Education Fady Khalife, the updated course now has three practical marksmanship components for assessment.
With centrefire rifles, the students must hit a 240mm target with three shots off-hand at 50m, three shots seated or kneeling at 75m and four shots prone at 100m.
The rimfire component is five shots into a 40mm target at 50m from the bench.
Previously, applicants were required to score a minimum 37 out of 40 points shooting at 100m from any position (bench, prone, etc).
“This was changed to make it more representative of actual shooting conditions and to ensure a higher skill level and standard of shooting for this program,” Mr Coote said.
“We have assessed some really good hunters, but you must be proficient in marksmanship to become an accredited volunteer.
“It was a surprise that more applicants didn’t pass but the result highlights the importance of range practice in different field positions to become a proficient hunter.”
Mr Coote said that while marksmanship was a key aspect of the accreditation program, there are other important components.
“We assess firearm safety knowledge and risk management, rules and responsibilities when shooting on Parks Victoria land, the appropriate firearms for each task, navigation, humane dispatch and hunting experience,” Mr Coote said.
“We want to develop a high standard of volunteers who understand Parks Victoria’s expectations.”
Parks Victoria funds the CPM program as an initiative to provide a service to control pest species on Parks Victoria-managed land and provide hunting opportunities for SSAA Victoria members.
“We currently have 300 accredited CPM volunteers on our database,” Mr Coote said. “These volunteers take part in an average of 100 pest management shoots each year.
“To maintain their accreditation their shooting skills will need to be regularly reassessed.
“We also get a steady flow of applicants for the program, however, the people who are selected must have a high level of hunting experience and ethics.
“If you want to become a successful applicant, it’s also important that you practise the required fundamental shooting skill.”
The next CPM Accreditation Course will be held before the end of the year and will process the remaining applicants.
Click here to learn more about becoming an accredited SSAA Victoria CPM Program Volunteer.