On queue after several cold and horrendously windy days the sun came out and the wind dropped to once more provide a pleasantly balmy atmosphere for the Dargo and District Landcare Group’s annual fund-raising event, their Venison Day.
Dargo these days is a Mecca for sambar hunters and the Landcare group has latched onto this to bring hunters together for a great day out. Key aspects of the event are demonstrations of deer butchering, trophy head caping and the utilisation of venison in the kitchen.
This year’s crowd was in the hundreds and the Dargo Hotel was a great location for the event – plenty of space for parking, displays and demonstrations and, of course, the odd visit to the bar for those with a dry throat.
Quite a few national and local East Gippsland businesses and community groups supported the day including H&S Firearms from Sale, Raytrade, Spika, Wild Deer and Hunting Adventures, Gavin Counsell Taxidermy, Blade Lady (a knife sharpening service) from Bairnsdale, the Game Management Authority, Jeff Bourman MP from the Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party, Australian Deer Research Foundation and the East Gippsland Branch of the Australian Deer Association.
Highlights of the day were local Damian Ellis demonstrating how to butcher a deer, Bill Barry from Cassilis covering taxidermy and Gippsland’s Cervi Crew removed the mystery from making venison smallgoods. Lunch and dinner of snags, hamburgers and trimmings went down very well amongst those in attendance with long queues going back for seconds.
All-in-all it was a great day out and an excellent opportunity to catch up with mates, gain new insights into deer and hunting and to possibly take home a raffle prize.
Recreational hunting will inevitably be the major contributor to deer management in this State in future and anything that furthers this is to be applauded.
The Dargo and District Landcare Group are to be congratulated on putting on such a great event and promoting the responsible utilisation of what should be a great asset, Victoria’s sambar population.