Deer Hunting Trail to be Allowed on Popular Bushwalking Island
Snake Island, located in Nooramunga Marine and Coastal Park (South Gippsland) is a popular destination for bushwalkers, with walks on Snake Island appearing on many club programs.
The Victorian Government announced recently that it would allow a trial to hunt hog deer on the island for a two year period. From the very limited information available it appears that hunters will access the island via a ballot system from February 2017.
Snake Island Cattlemen's Association President Peter Mabilia said they were not consulted about the Victorian Government's decision to allow shooters to hunt the deer. "We're disappointed that it's happened this way. We've had absolutely no consultation whatsoever whether it be with us, the kayakers, bushwalkers [or] the local people in the town," Mr Mabilia said.
Parks Victoria Acting Regional Director for the Eastern Region, Roger Fenwick, commented that, "We have given a commitment to meet with the cattlemen's association and other user groups."
Bushwalking Victoria's key concerns with deer hunting on Snake Island are:
- The lack of consultation with all stakeholders prior to the decision being announced
- Ongoing hunting on Snake Island by recreational shooters, with the island becoming a de-facto reserve for shooters.
- The risks and impacts that shooting will have on the safe enjoyment of bushwalking on the island.
- The apparent lack of a program to eradicate deer from Snake Island
ABC Gippsland Report
Snake Island Cattlemen's Association Position Statement