Children of the 1980’s will be familiar with the Rubik’s cube.
The puzzle is solved in layers – with the final success only becoming apparent when many moves are made.
The current restrictions on hunting associated with Government responses to COVID-19 vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction – they are, however, generally severe and they are impacting significantly on hunters. We are not alone in this, many in our community are in the same boat. There are elements of our situation which are the same as everyone else's and elements which are unique.
The Australian Deer Association have been focusing our advocacy efforts on ensuring that hunting returns as soon as possible.
We have surveyed our community and made evidence-based submissions to governments pointing out that:
- Deer hunting lends itself particularly well to social distancing – the nature of our quarry and selfsufficiency of hunters mean that we are better suited to operating in isolation or in very small groups
- That hunting delivers great ‘triple bottom line’ benefits for our society.
- A Federal Department of Health Report shows that hunters have a higher level of wellbeing than the general community.
- Deer hunting is an important economic driver in regional communities – many of which have suffered the “double whammy” of the summer bushfires and the COVID restrictions.
- Deer hunters contribute significantly to ecological outcomes; both through the recreational harvest and through more formal control programs.
- The wild harvest is important both for hunters and for their networks who share in the spoils of the hunt.
We are talking to decision makers about the return to hunting on more or less a daily basis.
As we have commented from the beginning of this – the one certainty at the moment is uncertainty. It is probable that as restrictions ease there will be more uncertainty and that they will still impact different people in different ways, both from State to State and even within State borders from region to region. We are planning for this but it is impossible to accurately predict precisely how, where and when all of the elements of this will play out.
Unlike that confounded Hungarian toy, we cannot simply pull the stickers off or click the blocks apart and re-arrange them to arrive at a speedier “solution”.