The 2017 Big Den Deer Ballot is set to go ahead in Tasmania with the Liberal Government pledging $83,000, which will guarantee the hunt is possible. The ballot was in jeopardy of not proceeding because of severe winter flood damage to the Lake River Road, the only point of access to the Big Den hunting area.
A total of $40,000 will be spent on a log culvert at Flash Charlies Creek and another $8000 outlaid to repair a second log culvert. The rest of the money will be used to mend twin pipes at Top Den Creek that were destroyed.
This news comes as a welcome relief to the 160 or so hunters who will take part in the hunt next year. SSAA National Wildlife Programs Leader Matthew Godson was also happy with the government’s decision. “It’s great to see the Tasmanian Government providing the necessary infrastructure to support hunters and the safe, healthy and sustainable harvest of deer,” he said.
While Forestry Tasmania may have stepped in to help fix the culverts, there was no scheduled harvesting set to take place beyond the flood damaged areas, meaning there was no commercial incentive to make the repairs. The Tasmanian Government should be applauded for stepping up and guaranteeing the Big Den Deer Ballot for the state’s hunters.
Those who apply and are successful in the Big Den Ballot will be notified prior to Christmas. The ballot allocates access to the Big Den for the full deer season between 24 February and 2 April 2017 and on an intermittent basis through to 2 July 2017 for the antlerless season.