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Saturday, May 25, 2024

The Hunter’s Point of View

Authored by Glenn Falla, Hunting and Conservation Manager at Field & Game Australia, the aftermath of COVID-19 prompted widespread self-reflection, urging individuals to reassess their current lifestyles and strive for balance.

Opinions surrounding hunting can be divisive, often leading to polarizing discussions, yet it’s crucial to respect diverse viewpoints without subjecting anyone to ridicule. However, amidst this discourse, there’s a noticeable resurgence of interest in reconnecting with nature and harvesting wild food in an ethical and sustainable manner, often enjoyed with like-minded friends and family.

Reflecting on recent developments, particularly in Donald, I’ve observed a resurgence in hunters obtaining certificates in Waterfowl Identification, thanks to the efforts of volunteers like Tom Manifold. The training sessions, conducted at the local community centre and subsequent tests by the Game Management Authority, saw high pass rates, attracting participants from far and wide, supported by local businesses like Buloke Firearms and the Donald Field & Game branch.

The commitment shown by individuals like Tom, notably at the young age of 18, is commendable, reflecting positively on their upbringing and dedication to community service. Encouraging licensed hunters to embrace the upcoming season, I urge them to savour their time in the wetlands and share their experiences with newcomers, demonstrating the ethical and sustainable aspects of hunting for wild food.

The post-Covid lifestyle shift has seen many city dwellers opting for a more nomadic existence or relocating to rural areas, seeking a slower pace and greater self-sufficiency. This trend towards self-sustainability, whether through cultivating vegetables or raising animals for consumption, has gained traction among those willing to embrace its responsibilities.

For generations, hunters across the state have enjoyed the bounty of their labour, relishing wild food during camping trips and long after returning home. Donald and its surrounding wetlands hold a rich history of providing wild food for families statewide and even interstate visitors.

While hunting may not appeal to everyone, it remains an integral part of our cultural heritage and natural resource management. Understanding and respecting diverse opinions on this matter is essential for fostering constructive dialogue and mutual understanding within our communities.

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