A positive outcome from the NSW government’s decision to allow hunting in some National Parks is the poor response from National Park rangers. According to a press release from the NSW Public Service Association it “has directed its members not to assist with any activity involved with establishing recreational hunting in national parks in NSW”.
Also opposed to the proposal is the Invasive Species Council, who have previously called on the government to eliminate the NSW Game Council, a ‘qango’ set up for the single issue Shooters and Fishers party, because recreational hunting is ineffective.
In the six years that hunting has been allowed in local state forests I haven’t heard a single gunshot, although the Bermagui Field and Game shotgun club blasts away every month, they don’t hunt in local state forests because there is very little to shoot.
So although forests are open for shooting, the NSW Game Council only produces information, available in their Public Benefit Assessment report, at a state scale, there is no information on what is ‘culled’ in any given State Forest.
What they do produce shows a large difference in the time taken to cull different species on different tenures as indicated in this chart. Cats and foxes, that have both indirect and possibly direct impacts on koalas, are arguably the only ferals of consequence in local forests and according to the Game Council 74.3 hunting days are required to get a cat and 10 days to hunt a fox in State Forest.
Interestingly hunting times for all species are much lower on private land and from an efficiency and safety perspective it would seem more sensible to make sure that’s where the hunters stay.