Draft Deer Management strategy open for comment

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Draft Deer Management strategy open for comment

Postby Xplora » Thu 04 Oct, 2018 6:55 am

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Re: Draft Deer Management strategy open for comment

Postby potato » Thu 04 Oct, 2018 9:31 am

Until they get over the burden to farmers talk and declare them a pest, this proposed strategy isn't worth much.
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Re: Draft Deer Management strategy open for comment

Postby sambar358 » Fri 05 Oct, 2018 8:33 am

Wrong ! Declaring deer a pest species in Victoria will then place the responsibility of controlling them directly on the farmer as it does with other pest animal and plant species on their land where the farmer has to manage them to an acceptable level or a government department will do it for them and then bill the farmer. So the cries to "declare deer a pest species and that will solve our problems" is a simplistic response to the issue that I'm sure any thinking farmer won't want if they ponder on the potential ramifications for them. And the DDMS document certainly acknowledges this and is not recommending that deer be declared a pest animal.

Farmers already have the mechanism in place where they can control deer on their land without the need to apply for a Permit to Control Wildlife as was once the case. Farmers, their family and workers or authorized hunters are able to shoot problem deer on private land without any restrictions including the use of a spotlight, night vision or thermal imaging optics, there is no Game License requirement and the only compliance needed is to adhere to the minimum caliber requirements for the humane shooting of the deer. This has been the case for the past 6 or 7 years......some farmers have embraced that while others haven't.

Declaring deer a pest species also brings along a number of other issues.....illegal hunting, use of inadequate calibers, no control of hunters as it removes the need for licensing deer hunters. Most importantly it then removes the mechanism by which hunters currently have access to the Alpine National Park and other hunting NP's as a declared game animal (Deer) can be egally hunted in these Parks. So declare them a "pest species" and there will be no deer management by hunters in these NP's.......so this obviously will further magnify the deer issue as all NP's will then virtually become deer breeding sanctuaries where no manner of government intervention will ever be capable of having an impact on their numbers or be able to be funded to a level that will see numbers reduced across their range.

So....the cry to declare deer a pest species is a simplistic response to a much larger issue and for me as someone who's been involved with deer and deer hunting for 45+ years the bottom line really is that the deer are here to stay. Certainly they need some level of population management where they are causing issues but at the very best localized short-term number reduction may be possible by well-funded and properly organized programs using a number of strategies including recreational hunting but as for the bigger picture......there is no solution and the deer are now part of the landscape.......for better or for worse. Cheers

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Re: Draft Deer Management strategy open for comment

Postby potato » Fri 05 Oct, 2018 9:55 am

No not wrong, just a different perspective.

There is no quantification of the burden to farmers presented in this strategy nor are there any figures on the illegal hunting issue. Just by saying these are issues, doesn't provide a basis for an argument.

I accept that deer are here to stay for a while, but this strategy is a soft approach to a real issue and is obviously protecting the hobby which is recreational hunting. There are far better management strategies for pest vertebrates than recreational hunters, such as using professional shooters in helicopters as used in NZ.
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Re: Draft Deer Management strategy open for comment

Postby crollsurf » Fri 05 Oct, 2018 12:33 pm

If Venison was marketed properly as a quality meat, the problem would go away. In Europe, hunting is restricted because of it's popularity.

I remember in the 80's baby Octopus was considered by-catch and used as bait on Trapper boats. Now being served up at Australia's best restaurants. I think the commercialization of Venison would be the best answer to this problem.
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Re: Draft Deer Management strategy open for comment

Postby potato » Fri 05 Oct, 2018 1:55 pm

An interesting bit of background published in the The Conversation a couple of years ago:

https://theconversation.com/the-protect ... alia-11452
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Re: Draft Deer Management strategy open for comment

Postby Xplora » Sat 06 Oct, 2018 8:26 am

There is substantial ambiguity surrounding the status of deer in Victorian legislation. Recreational hunting will never control as hunters are traditionally loathed to shoot breeding females. So far the only management strategy available is shooting whereas other pests can be trapped or poisoned. There is no doubt in my mind that deer are a pest and the points that Sambar358 raises are valid but these things can be sorted with adequate legislative changes which will allow hunters the access they currently have and restrict the those who are able to shoot them. If a pest animal is to be shot then it still has to be humanely destroyed so a nominated calibre can be maintained for deer. Every hurdle to deer being nominated a pest can be overcome without any loss of benefit to recreational hunters or onerous regulation on farmers.

Wild caught deer are already being used commercially and marketing it as a alternate meat source has been done and done. Many deer farmers have gone out of business, some have released their herds. I don't see it doing well for table meat but as dog food it would be fine. I am not saying that venison is not good, we kill and eat it regularly, but you need to be selective if you are fussy about such things as tenderness. Unless of course you want to make sausage or small goods.

Helicopter shooting of Sambar will never work and comparing NZ deer culls to Australia does not work. My suspicion is that in time there will be other control measures introduced to areas where hunting is not permitted. Yes, deer are here to stay but in sensitive areas there needs to be other control measures which are more effective than shooting. Opening these areas to hunters will never be a control solution.
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Re: Draft Deer Management strategy open for comment

Postby sambar358 » Sat 06 Oct, 2018 9:56 am

A good balanced post Xplora and I'll agree with almost all of it too....yikes !

The reality is that there are no control methods that will work effectively on deer within the current parameters that government agencies are using but if you look realistically at the numbers......the return from a pretty significant effort by PV using volunteer hunters and professional shooters during the 3 year Bogong High Plains deer cull trial clearly indicates what they are up against......3 years, just 200 deer taken at a cost around $600 per animal and absolutely no change in real terms to their numbers in that relatively small areas. I don't expect the 4 day aerial culling trial this month to be successful to any degree either apart from demonstrating that sambar deer are a whole lot harder to shoot from a helicopter than the red deer in NZ.

On the flip side of the "numbers game" is the estimated take by recreational hunters each year which has been in excess of 100,000 animals for the past 2-3 years and increasing significantly each year. Compare this to the 200 or so sambar taken with the PV cull over 3 years.......and then tell me again that recreational hunting is not an effective management tool ! Cost will be the major factor limiting government agencies reducing the deer numbers......$600 per animal is unsustainable and if this was applied to the 100,000 animals taken by recreational hunters the bill to the taxpayer for pro-shooters to perform the task would be $60 million dollars.....just for the one year !

My view of the "recreational hunting is not effective" debate is that at the moment the numbers indicate that it is currently by far the most effective method in comparison to other efforts being undertaken and the outcomes can be further improved if the government address a few key issues such as improving access for hunters to remote areas using the NZ model which encourages hunters into areas with high deer numbers via a good network of walking trails, strategically placed huts and helicopter landing pads in key locations. Remember also that there are 40,000 licensed deer hunters in Victoria and this number is increasing at about 10% per annum. If people are acknowledging that we have a issue with deer numbers in the mountains then they also need to acknowledge that recreational deer hunting has a significant part to play in addressing that issue. I cannot see any state government devoting the level of funding that is needed to make a significant difference with deer numbers across the board as the efforts to get numbers to a level where any real difference is noted in my opinion is totally unaffordable as this is not just a one-off......deer control will be an on-going issue.....forever !

Alternatives : probably only 2 will make a significant difference : the widespread use of 1080 poison a-la the NZ model with the risk being the impact it will have on a wide range of native birds and animals as bi-kills as they either feed on animals killed by 1080 or take the baits directly. The development of a deer-specific virus that would have to be 100% guaranteed not to mutate and impact on the rural industry is no-doubt being considered but I am pretty sure nothing like this is available or is even in the developmental stage......and I seriously doubt if any government would try anything like that given the potential ramifications should it "get loose" as these sorts of things tend to. So we have what we have.......interesting times ahead. Cheers

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Re: Draft Deer Management strategy open for comment

Postby Xplora » Sat 06 Oct, 2018 3:12 pm

sambar358 wrote:On the flip side of the "numbers game" is the estimated take by recreational hunters each year which has been in excess of 100,000 animals for the past 2-3 years and increasing significantly each year. Compare this to the 200 or so sambar taken with the PV cull over 3 years.......and then tell me again that recreational hunting is not an effective management tool ! Cost will be the major factor limiting government agencies reducing the deer numbers......$600 per animal is unsustainable and if this was applied to the 100,000 animals taken by recreational hunters the bill to the taxpayer for pro-shooters to perform the task would be $60 million dollars.....just for the one year !


I think the algorithm used to determine the number of deer shot by recreational hunters is a little rubbery and we both know the numbers are based on a very limited phone survey. I would not go as far to say recreational hunting is in fact a method of population control. If the deer population is still increasing then 100000 shot each year appears not to be enough. If that number is true then the population must be over 1 million. Not that long some were saying that the Sambar population was around 300000.

sambar358 wrote:Remember also that there are 40,000 licensed deer hunters in Victoria and this number is increasing at about 10% per annum.

That would be 40000 licenced game hunters but not all hunt deer and not all hunt regularly.

sambar358 wrote:Alternatives : probably only 2 will make a significant difference : the widespread use of 1080 poison a-la the NZ model with the risk being the impact it will have on a wide range of native birds and animals as bi-kills as they either feed on animals killed by 1080 or take the baits directly.

This has been debated here before and there is a hint of it in the draft plan. 1080 is not mentioned but baiting is. Bi-kill does not seem to be much of a problem with current baiting but the dose for deer would have to be higher than foxes and dogs. Native animals do have a natural resistance to 1080. The bigger issue is if a hunter shoots and eats a deer which has been poisoned, before the poison has taken effect of course. I strongly suspect the current project to collar and monitor deer movement is more to do with knowing how far deer will range in the time 1080 will take to kill it. It could be used in areas where hunting is prohibited and with adequate signage then the poachers should stay clear. It could sort out the horses also. PV are looking at a feeder which can be placed in the field and cannot be reached by native animals.

There could also be some benefit to recreational hunters if deer are declared a pest and farmers were forced to engage in control programs. SSAA already run the farm assist program which could be expanded. Win win but hunters would have start shooting hinds. If the animal can then be taken to a processing plant and made into dog food (for remuneration) then there is another win.
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Re: Draft Deer Management strategy open for comment

Postby sambar358 » Sat 06 Oct, 2018 8:24 pm

From an article in the Weekly Times mid 2016. Graphic below supplied by the then CEO of the Victorian Game Management Authority Greg Hyams shows the average number of days spent hunting, deer taken per hunter, total take by the 35,500 licensed deer hunters back in 2016 etc. and I would expect that these statistics would be correct given their source. A bit over 2 years later my understanding is that the number is now close to 40,000 licensed for deer but the 35,500 is certainly those that hld a Victorian Game License endorsed just for deer hunting as of mid-2016.

I've never been contacted regarding the phone survey but if I was my honest response would be : number of days hunting deer this year....40. Number of deer taken by me personally this year.....12....with a lot more hunting to go before I give it away this year too. And I'm certainly not alone in being well above the average in both days spent hunting and animals taken as shown in that graphic. Of the 20 or so keen deer hunters who I know well.....collectively we have shot far more sambar in the past 3 years than was achieved on the entire Bogong High Plains cull over the same time and for free of course......well not really....we have each paid the government around $200 for our deer-endorsed game hunting license over that time !

But the reality is no one can really put a figure on how many deer are in Victoria (or the other states).....it could be 300,000....a million......far more than a million......nobody knows and currently there is no real way of determining numbers either and I doubt there ever will be. Sambar deer (the most numerous and adaptive of the 6 species) are browsers primarily and do not require good pasture or crops to thrive so they will do well in a large range of habitat types from the coast to our high country and everything in between simply because they will feed on virtually anything including gum leaves. The European species (red & fallow) are more reliant of improved pastures and tend to be found closer to farmland rather than in remote bush locations....but there will be exceptions of course.

On 1080......I often set my trail cameras on a deer carcass for a bit of variety and regularly have all manner of birds and animals visit it for a feed......always wedgetailed eagles, often other raptors, crows, currawongs, magpies, butcher birds and other small insect/meat eating birds plus a variety of native animals.....marsupial mice, tiger quolls & brushtailed possums.....all come for a chew on a deer carcass. Is unleashing 1080 in a desperate effort to reduce the deer population worth the risk of loosing or severely depleting the numbers of these sorts of creatures in our bush ? Hopefully not. Cheers

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Re: Draft Deer Management strategy open for comment

Postby Moondog55 » Sat 06 Oct, 2018 10:20 pm

I have stopped hunting deer myself, not because I have stopped shooting but because I can no longer afford the game licence fee. Perhaps we need to make the deer hunting fee minimal or remove it altogether for people like me with time to hunt ie; OA Pensioners

Wild shot Sambar is not a gourmet meat, most venison in the restaurant trade is farmed red deer so unless you can sell a lot of venison stew or pies that market isn't viable here, speaking as a chef anyway.
Perhaps a grain trail along the Hume freeway and bigger bull bars on the semis?
or we could introduce tigers or bring bag the Thylacoleo again this was discussed a while ago
I met a feller while out skiing. He comes from the Buckland Valley area, they bait with carrots and grain and shoot by spotlight, he said they haven't eaten any red meat for a decade except venison, this should give an idea of how many are out there. I also doubt that this feller was using a legal calibre but when shooting from a stand at less than 5metres even a 22 Hornet will kill given a clean shot and I got the impression he was a good shot.
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Re: Draft Deer Management strategy open for comment

Postby Xplora » Sun 07 Oct, 2018 7:53 am

sambar358 wrote:From an article in the Weekly Times mid 2016. Graphic below supplied by the then CEO of the Victorian Game Management Authority Greg Hyams shows the average number of days spent hunting, deer taken per hunter, total take by the 35,500 licensed deer hunters back in 2016 etc. and I would expect that these statistics would be correct given their source.


The source for numbers shot would have come from the ADA. I do agree the current control program does not account for the same numbers as the recreational hunters but it is a sensitive area which is off limits so it will have an effect on that particular area. More will move in but then more will be removed.

sambar358 wrote:On 1080......I often set my trail cameras on a deer carcass for a bit of variety and regularly have all manner of birds and animals visit it for a feed......always wedgetailed eagles, often other raptors, crows, currawongs, magpies, butcher birds and other small insect/meat eating birds plus a variety of native animals.....marsupial mice, tiger quolls & brushtailed possums.....all come for a chew on a deer carcass. Is unleashing 1080 in a desperate effort to reduce the deer population worth the risk of loosing or severely depleting the numbers of these sorts of creatures in our bush ? Hopefully not.

I am pretty sure most of these concerns would be addressed and assessed before baiting was instigated. If it is not shown to be safe for other animals then it would not be used but quoll numbers are increasing with the current baiting program and our Wedge tailed eagles are doing just fine also. I wonder if European wasps would be affected by 1080. They were not considered in the draft plan but carcass for wild dog food was.
Moondog55 wrote:I have stopped hunting deer myself, not because I have stopped shooting but because I can no longer afford the game licence fee. Perhaps we need to make the deer hunting fee minimal or remove it altogether for people like me with time to hunt ie; OA Pensioners

You could have a point here. A bit like fishing licences. Perhaps a seniors discount even. Follow that up.

Moondog55 wrote:Wild shot Sambar is not a gourmet meat, most venison in the restaurant trade is farmed red deer so unless you can sell a lot of venison stew or pies that market isn't viable here, speaking as a chef anyway.

Pretty much the point I was making. Most of the stuff running around is not worth eating and the hunters know that. Good for dog meat and small goods though but you can only eat so many sausages. I ran into a group of doggers about 10 years back who were hunting illegally in the ANP and I was told they were selling meat for $1/kg to Melbourne restaurants. Cannot imagine what they would do with meat that was chased by dogs and then shot. It is also illegal.
Moondog55 wrote:He comes from the Buckland Valley area, they bait with carrots and grain and shoot by spotlight, he said they haven't eaten any red meat for a decade except venison, this should give an idea of how many are out there. I also doubt that this feller was using a legal calibre but when shooting from a stand at less than 5metres even a 22 Hornet will kill given a clean shot and I got the impression he was a good shot.

This guy should probably speak to the guys trying to catch and collar deer. Maybe they can get a few tips. I think a turnip crop is going to be planted as a lure. Regarding calibre, I cannot see any problem with short range shooting and using lower calibre on private property. The minimum bow size for hunting deer provides less ft/lb than a .22 at 50m. All bow hunting is short distance. I do think a 22 is a bit small though if you want to humanly kill. I think .223 is the great all rounder for a land owner and as long as you are not trying for a 300m shot you will drop a deer just as quickly as a .270.
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Re: Draft Deer Management strategy open for comment

Postby Moondog55 » Sun 07 Oct, 2018 8:49 am

There was a pensioners rate for the firearms and game licence but it was removed [ as understand it ] under pressure from the Anti-firearms lobby.
22 Hornet is a pretty powerful calibre at short range, also cheap to reload
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Re: Draft Deer Management strategy open for comment

Postby Dogwood » Fri 19 Oct, 2018 5:15 pm

I have been following this forum with interest for a couple of years now, but thought that it was about time contribute as I have been impressed with much of the very civil conversation. Like S358 I am a keen deer hunter with a background in science hence this first post that might help to put some additional perspective on the local deer scene.

As you would all be aware, there has been growing angst about the expansion of deer populations in Victoria in recent times, particularly sambar and fallow deer. This angst has focussed on a wide range of sambar and hunting 'impacts' including to the environment, farming, wild dogs, traffic accidents, disease transmission, public safety and the list goes on …

The big issue is really the number of sambar out there and their impacts. You often hear mention of 1 million and increasing, but I have also heard 3 million mentioned on one occasion. My understanding is that there are 6 million hectares of public land in eastern Victoria where the vast majority of the sambar are. If there are a million sambar as suggested, that implies one for every 6 hectares which strikes me as implausible - sambar are elusive but they are nevertheless not that easy to find (and also need to feed themselves in what is often a relatively unproductive environment). Perhaps 300,000 or 400,000 is a more realistic number in my opinion. I know, still a lot, but probably a more realistic number.

The annual take by hunters and farmers is thought to be somewhere north of 100,000 animals with just over half of these females (the breeders). If this take is anywhere near accurate we might be currently taking about 25 per cent of the population each year which is probably close to the sustainable yield. Under ideal reproductive conditions (feed, water, shelter and minimal disease and predation) a take of up to a maximum of 40 per cent can be sustainable.

So what then has driven the boom in sambar numbers over the past twenty or so years? We really need to explore this as sambar were relatively inconspicuous for almost 150 years after they were first introduced. In my opinion that was due to two things, an expansion into new areas in Eastern Victoria where hunting was largely illegal and that gave the deer a 'free kick' to get established, and secondly, to the enormous bushfires in 2003, 2006, 2009 and 2012 that swept huge areas free of mature vegetation that was then replaced by succulent and very accessible understory regrowth - a browsing and grazing paradise that allowed maximum reproductive success. A similar response was noted after the 1939 fires but in a much more restricted area.

Now we are in the situation where the forest has matured and the feed isn't there any more so animals are being forced out onto fringe country or to feeding in daylight when they are much more conspicuous. We probably also have decreasing reproductive success at the same time. The current drought in East Gippsland is also impacting on the deer in forest country and forcing them out to rivers and fringe areas.

From my perspective I suspect that in this very dynamic situation we might see a decline in sambar numbers in coming years and a return to the situation where sambar will be much less obvious in the landscape. That won't mean that they will no-longer need to be managed, they will, but maybe the emphasis might change to protecting key environmental assets, suburban encroachment and where they are a threat to road users etc.

The experience in New Zealand, where they have run the whole gamut of control methods over many years, is that recreational hunting normally does the hard lifting in deer control and that when issues arise on public land that aren't being addressed, the government and private operators step in with helicopter shooting.

Thanks for the opportunity to add to the discussion!

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Re: Draft Deer Management strategy open for comment

Postby potato » Fri 01 Mar, 2019 9:10 am

https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2019- ... w/10858226

Interesting approach here from over the border. Hopefully getting ready for a new state gov so they can take on other ferals.
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Re: Draft Deer Management strategy open for comment

Postby Xplora » Sat 02 Mar, 2019 5:12 am

potato wrote:https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2019-02-28/deer-mangement-plan-launched-nsw/10858226

Interesting approach here from over the border. Hopefully getting ready for a new state gov so they can take on other ferals.


Interesting article. Talking Sambar deer only, trapping will not work or at least it has not worked yet. Around my area PV contractors have been trying to trap Sambar to put tracking collars on. So far, after many months, nothing. Lures have been put out and not touched. Recreational hunters, like Dogwood, believe they are controlling numbers. The ADA put out the annual figures which grow imaginatively and are only based on a limited phone survey. I mean no disrespect to genuine recreational hunters but as discussed many times before, they are either after a trophy or a feed and are very selective about their prey. This is not a means of controlling populations. The mature breeding hinds are not highly sort after. The ADA started a program to encourage its members to take hinds but that was a monumental flop. A 25% take of any population would be noticeable but there is no obvious decline. Firstly I would suggest the ADA numbers of deer taken are grossly exaggerated and this is done to promote the concept of recreational hunting being a viable control method. I have not seen any evidence to support recreational hunting as a viable control. The article above suggests the same. It is however the only method currently used. Secondly, population numbers are much higher than 400K. I see no reason to discount the numbers of deer and one million seems to be a good starting point.

Baiting deer also poses problems which need to be addressed. Not enough is known about Sambar. Many like Dogwood say they are solitary animals but just up the road I see them herding. I can walk around my property and see 8 or more in an hour or less. If deer are baited then they cannot be eaten and the only poison currently available is 1080 which is slow acting. If a deer roams into a hunting area after eating the bait then there is a potential for human death if shot for meat. My suspicion is the tracking collars are about a long term goal of introducing baiting in some areas to control populations in sensitive areas like the Alpine National Park. There is a fair bit of illegal hunting going on in these areas but mostly for trophy and there would be adequate warning.

Aerial shooting trials have commenced and were successful in the open areas but abandoned in thick bush (Pinnibar area). Bogong High Plains will not be added to the list of aerial shooting. If NSW introduces aerial shooting then I am sure it will find the same issues but will it face the same tirade from people saying it is inhumane? The people I refer to are the ones trying to save the feral horses. I doubt they would care about deer in the same way.
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Re: Draft Deer Management strategy open for comment

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Sun 03 Mar, 2019 9:21 am

Vermin Fawlty!
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Re: Draft Deer Management strategy open for comment

Postby sambar358 » Mon 04 Mar, 2019 6:49 am

I have no doubt that we are being cunningly led down the 1080 poison path by the governments of NSW and Victoria as the primary method for deer control in the future. The narrative is already there.....some methods such as aerial shooting far too expensive per animal, other methods such as ground shooting by professionals and accredited volunteer hunters too location-specific and impossible to roll-out on a large scale, recreational hunting apparently also ineffective despite GMA annual hunter survey indicating 100,000+ deer shot annually etc etc. We are being slowly conditioned to accept "the only workable solution"......large scale 1080 poisoning of the deer range probably using the NZ aerial bait drop model. I have been told the NSW trials using deer/goat specific 1080 bait stations while working on the goats failed miserably with deer so rolling these out for deer has been shelved.

Everyone should be concerned about government departments embracing large-scale 1080 poisoning for deer as apart from the risk involved in humans eating venison from a deer that has recently ingested 1080 poison and is slowly dying there are massive risks to all our meat-eating wildlife that feed on carcasses of 1080 poison killed deer. I occasionally set a trail camera on one of my sambar deer kills mainly targeting images of wild dogs but these sets always get quite a variety of birds and other animals visiting them to feed on the carcass. Images of eagles, hawks, owls, possums, native mice and rats, crows, currawongs, butcher birds & tiger quolls are usually on the camera memory card as well picking at the carcass.....and these are just from ONE dead sambar ! Put 100's or likely 1000's of dead deer in the bush poisoned by 1080 and the threat to the non-target species will be massive ! And of course 1080 baits targeting a large herbivore like deer will also be attractive to all our native herbivores as well......populations of kangaroos, wallabies and possums will all take a significant hit from eating 1080 baits intended for deer as well.

While the 1080 may have a significant impact on the deer in some areas......it also has the potential to have a devastating impact on a whole range of our native birds and animals. Do we want to follow the NZ model with 1080 poison and turn our bush into the bird and animal desert that exists in many parts on NZ where 1080 poison is used extensively for possum and deer control ! Hopefully not. Food for thought anyway. Cheers

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Re: Draft Deer Management strategy open for comment

Postby Xplora » Tue 05 Mar, 2019 6:38 am

Birds are 50-300 times more resistant to the effects of 1080 than a dog. 1080 is being used already for control of dogs and foxes and there is no evidence to suggest the bi-kill of native animals is a problem and in fact quoll numbers are increasing in areas where 1080 is used to control dogs. The tolerance of deer is also higher than dogs so the dose would have to be higher but there is also a lot of misinformation about 1080 which tends to cause alarm. My concern is that humans could ingest contaminated meat but you would have to eat a huge amount of meat for it to be effective. Humans are 40 times more resistant to it than dogs and the amount which would be in the meat after a deer ingests a bait would be negligible. 1080 in a carcass is present in larger concentrations in the stomach and some other organs such as liver, heart, lung, kidneys and brain. The risk to humans is low but still enough for it not to be used near hunting areas. The risk to native animals feeding on a carcass is even lower. A target specific delivery system would also have to be developed.
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Re: Draft Deer Management strategy open for comment

Postby sambar358 » Tue 05 Mar, 2019 10:16 am

I understand that deer-specific delivery method for (I think) 1080 poison has been trialed in NSW and it failed for deer.....but apparently worked OK for goats. I would imagine that government agencies would be looking for a low-cost method of poison distribution that would allow remote areas to be poisoned effectively as well. The DoC model that NZ use involves helicopters flying low-level transects and dropping poisoned carrots or some other bait which herbivores would find attractive. Target species in NZ tend to be brush tailed possums, rats and deer which the 1080 is very effective on but there is plenty of passionate opposition in NZ to the use of 1080 and the opponents cite similar concerns to those that I expressed in my previous post on this.

If poisoned baits are used to target a large herbivore like sambar deer which can weight up to 300kg then bait dosage rates may be increased to enable a better kill rate and this could-well impact on native herbivores like kangaroos, possums, wallabies, wombats etc that would more than likely take these baits if they came across them in the bush. However any native animal/bird bi-kill either via ingestion of poisoned baits directly or by feeding on carcasses of direct victims will go largely unnoticed in the short term but if 1080 is having an impact on native animals and birds by the time that's noticed it'll be far too late ! Government agencies will of course play down the risk in all this but I have spent enough time in the NZ bush that's been regularly 1080'd to know that the lack of wildlife in these places has certainly got something to do with DoC's long-term 1080 poisoning programs.....but others may beg to differ of course. Cheers

s358

Another TC shot of native animal feeding on a deer carcass......is it worth the risk ?

Image
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Re: Draft Deer Management strategy open for comment

Postby Xplora » Fri 08 Mar, 2019 6:48 am

If Victoria does decide to bait then I suggest it will not be done everywhere. Areas like BHP do not have kangaroos and wallabies. There are wombats but these do not eat meat so there will not be a bi-kill problem. As I have said, birds are not affected so those meat eaters will be safe. I think the delivery method will be the problem. So far none have touched the lures placed around here. They were high off the ground so only deer could reach. Personally I think you have to balance the damage done to the ecosystem with the risk. I see lots of birds and other wildlife in areas where 1080 is currently used. I would suggest the risk to other animals and birds is far less than the damage deer cause. There are also lots of small vertebrates living in peat lands which are losing habitat. They are just as important as the ones we can see.
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Re: Draft Deer Management strategy open for comment

Postby sambar358 » Fri 08 Mar, 2019 7:30 am

Xplora....at the moment 1080 poison via buried meat or meat substitute baits is used for wild dog control so any area being baited is not being saturated with baits but rather relatively small numbers of baits are used and placed in locations that wild dogs and foxes may visit and these baits are buried so that the animal needs to dig it up and consume it. These bait stations are GPS marked and the baits are supposed to be lifted after a certain time so the baiting program for wild dogs & foxes is fairly well regulated. More remote areas in recent times are also aerial baited and 1080 baits are just dropped out of a low flying aircraft pretty-well at random and there is no follow-up retrieval of these baits of course. As these are a meat-based bait intended for carnivores it is unlikely that any bi-kill of native herbivores would occur of course and as there'd be very few carcasses of dead wild dogs and foxes as a result of these programs then potential bi-kill of meat eating native birds and animals would be low and not noticed.

For deer....I would expect a much higher intensity of baiting compared to the current wild dog/fox baiting program and likely it will just be random aerial baiting as much of the deer habitat is un-tracked and impossible to access on foot. And of course these baits will be herbivore specific so anything that would find a carrot (or whatever bait is chosen to deliver the poison) will be vulnerable if the bait is consumed. And while there may not be any or many kangaroos and wallabies on the BHP that is just a very small area and there are certainly plenty of them and other native herbivores throughout the deer range that will be vulnerable to 1080 baiting for deer. If there are 100's of 1000's of deer in the bush then the baiting program will be designed to address that.....it'll be large scale, long term and intensive. Can any government guarantee 100% that "no native bird or animal will be harmed in this exercise"......I think not ! Cheers

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Re: Draft Deer Management strategy open for comment

Postby potato » Fri 08 Mar, 2019 7:34 am

I'm happy for a bit of possum collateral damage, as they aren't my favourite animal.
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Re: Draft Deer Management strategy open for comment

Postby north-north-west » Fri 08 Mar, 2019 9:32 am

potato wrote:I'm happy for a bit of possum collateral damage, as they aren't my favourite animal.


tsk tsk, although I can sympathise with that (with regard to brushtails anyway).

We have to be pragmatic about this. It's about overall impact on the ecosystems - which would do more harm: deer reduction via baiting with possible sidekill, or retaining the status quo? Given the continuing rise in numbers of deer and other ferals, I tend to support baiting.
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Re: Draft Deer Management strategy open for comment

Postby potato » Fri 08 Mar, 2019 10:09 am

north-north-west wrote:
potato wrote:I'm happy for a bit of possum collateral damage, as they aren't my favourite animal.


tsk tsk, although I can sympathise with that (with regard to brushtails anyway).

We have to be pragmatic about this. It's about overall impact on the ecosystems - which would do more harm: deer reduction via baiting with possible sidekill, or retaining the status quo? Given the continuing rise in numbers of deer and other ferals, I tend to support baiting.


Agreed, when the other options are put in the political too hard basket, we need to be doing something like baiting. This isn't perfect, but it is better than the do nothing option.
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Re: Draft Deer Management strategy open for comment

Postby Xplora » Fri 08 Mar, 2019 5:12 pm

sambar358 wrote:Xplora....at the moment 1080 poison via buried meat or meat substitute baits is used for wild dog control so any area being baited is not being saturated with baits but rather relatively small numbers of baits are used and placed in locations that wild dogs and foxes may visit and these baits are buried so that the animal needs to dig it up and consume it. These bait stations are GPS marked and the baits are supposed to be lifted after a certain time so the baiting program for wild dogs & foxes is fairly well regulated. More remote areas in recent times are also aerial baited and 1080 baits are just dropped out of a low flying aircraft pretty-well at random and there is no follow-up retrieval of these baits of course. As these are a meat-based bait intended for carnivores it is unlikely that any bi-kill of native herbivores would occur of course and as there'd be very few carcasses of dead wild dogs and foxes as a result of these programs then potential bi-kill of meat eating native birds and animals would be low and not noticed.

For deer....I would expect a much higher intensity of baiting compared to the current wild dog/fox baiting program and likely it will just be random aerial baiting as much of the deer habitat is un-tracked and impossible to access on foot. And of course these baits will be herbivore specific so anything that would find a carrot (or whatever bait is chosen to deliver the poison) will be vulnerable if the bait is consumed. And while there may not be any or many kangaroos and wallabies on the BHP that is just a very small area and there are certainly plenty of them and other native herbivores throughout the deer range that will be vulnerable to 1080 baiting for deer. If there are 100's of 1000's of deer in the bush then the baiting program will be designed to address that.....it'll be large scale, long term and intensive. Can any government guarantee 100% that "no native bird or animal will be harmed in this exercise"......I think not ! Cheers

s358


Some good things for us to discuss on our next get together over a cuppa or beer. I am not supportive of wholesale baiting by aerial drops but selective areas could be possible with the right delivery system. Fishing up here is great at the moment by the way. All dry fly and some rainbows being caught now. Starting to look for another deer as the mornings get cooler. Still a few flies about but slowing. We have noticed lots of deer out and about as we drive.
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Re: Draft Deer Management strategy open for comment

Postby sambar358 » Sat 09 Mar, 2019 1:05 pm

Xplora.....that's for the fly fishing and honker report.....sounds good. I had a trip planned for this week just gone to the Dargo High Plains around the King Spur/McMillan Walking Track but a lightning strike and subsequent bush fire ended that & the whole area has been cooked and the fire is yet to be contained. I had a couple of gear dumps out there that I backpack into during the spring when the snow's off......don't expect them to be still there as my 20L drums were poked up a few hollow logs and covered with bark and sticks ! Might catch up in the next week or so given reasonable weather. Cheers

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Re: Draft Deer Management strategy open for comment

Postby CraigVIC » Wed 17 Apr, 2019 1:30 pm

A deer has killed a man in the north-east, "The couple were walking on their property, south of Wangaratta, when the animal came out of a bush and gored the man, police told the ABC."

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-04-17/ ... a/11024706
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Re: Draft Deer Management strategy open for comment

Postby CraigVIC » Wed 17 Apr, 2019 2:10 pm

Story updated, the deer was a pet.
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Re: Draft Deer Management strategy open for comment

Postby peregrinator » Thu 18 Apr, 2019 5:58 pm

I've sometimes thought about asking our resident deer expert, sambar358, about whether these animals could be a potential threat to humans. Especially those of us who don't carry firearms.

I've camped in close proximity to a few. The first experience was genuinely frightening, as I had no idea of what was producing the very loud call, seemingly just beside my tent. On subsequent occasions, even though I now knew it was a Sambar, I've still wondered whether it might cause some intended or unintended damage, to me and/or my tent. I've rationalised this by assuming the deer may be as alarmed at my presence as I am by it's, so I've expected it to keep at a distance. But now I'd like to know more, if possible.
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