There is currently a parliamentary inquiry in Victoria into the control of invasive animals on Crown land. It is due to report back in March 2017.

Its terms of reference are to consider:

“the benefits of Parks Victoria and other agencies such as the Game Management Authority’s use of community hunting organisations and individuals in the control of invasive animals on Crown land including but not limited to the following:

  1. assessment of the biodiversity outcomes, community safety and limitations of the trial conducted by Parks Victoria on control of deer populations in a national park;
  2. consideration of the application of these types of programs for other invasive animal species in partnership with Crown land managers;
  3. assessment of the relative costs and benefits, financial or otherwise, of other forms of pest control in national parks.

Recently some recreational shooters have declared that they want more wilderness areas opened up to deer hunting. According to a report by Jessica Longbottom on The ABC, “they already have access to large swathes of public land across Gippsland, the alpine region and around the Grampians.

However, hunting advocates say they would like access to areas such as the Snowy Rivers National Park, Mount Buffalo National Park, Grampians National Park and will push for more areas in the Alpine and Baw Baw National Parks to be opened up”.

In response, Phil Ingamells of the Victorian National Parks Association said that expanding recreational hunting to more areas of crown land would not make a dent in the problem.

“[It also] starts to really impact on other visitors to our national parks. People don’t really want their campground full of four-wheel drives with bleeding deer strapped to the roofs and things like that,” he said.

He believes only proper research, biological controls and professional culls will curb the deer population – and that would take a significant financial investment from the Government.

He said at the very least, current trial partnerships between Parks Victoria and volunteer hunters being run in Wilsons Promontory National Park and Yellingbo Nature Conservation Reserve, had to be expanded to target more areas.

You can check the VNPA website for extra information on their approach to dealing with invasive species like deer.