Paying to hunt? Not likely
Australian Shooter recently printed two articles about paying to hunt so I offer you my view on the subject, the alternative view. Unlike Joe Norris (Shooter, October 2018) I don’t have a family farm so must rely on public land.
Hunting for me is an inalienable right, not a privilege - our forebears brought these animals to Australia to make hunting readily available to everyone. Paying to hunt is a slippery slope where the size of your bank account determines who goes hunting.
I’m a low income earner so hunting has always allowed me to put meat on the table, have some fun and visit amazing places. I’ve never paid to hunt and never will. Hunting is about freedom and I’ll never sell out my right to hunt nor deny future generations theirs.
I live in Queensland where most areas are beyond Joe Average on low wages. I, as I suspect most of your readers will be, am priced out of the Queensland market. It’s cheaper for me to travel to the heart of NSW to find venison. It’s a shame Queenslanders have been denied the right to access public lands like other states and territories, as hunting is expensive enough without adding extra fees.
I sympathise with the farmers’ plight, especially in a drought, and can see why they strive to make income outside normal farming activities, but if they treated hunters like any other farm stay visitors (fishers, campers, hikers) we wouldn’t have a problem with that. Charge for the amenities supplied, not for animals taken.
Charging $300 a day to pitch a tent is not on. For $7 per person you can pitch a tent on Fraser Island and catch as many fish as you like. Be reasonable with what you charge and your occupancy rates will soar.
Maybe even the SSAA could look at doing something similar for landholders and hunters as they do with the Farmer Assist program. Imagine how much it would bolster our membership if you could go online and find a property to stay which also lets you hunt.
Robert Dobie, via email
08 April 2019