AFTER community consultation, Upper Hunter Shire Council, in partnership with Hunter Local Land Services (LLS), have resolved to undertake an on-ground deer control program on the outskirts of Murrurundi in March 2019.
Talks with the town over the past few months about the deer problems found there was overwhelming support for population control, but opposition to shooting occurring within town limits.
In March 2019, after the fawning season, the on-ground control program will only occur on the outskirts of Murrurundi and with property owners’ permission.
Upper Hunter Shire mayor Wayne Bedggood said qualified contract shooters will be working within the strict guidelines set out between council, Hunter LLS and the Hunter Valley Police District.
“The on-ground control program will be conducted by licensed and accredited professional shooters, at night from a vehicle with the aid of suppressed firearms,” he said.
“All carcasses will be removed and provided to the game meat industry”.
Drought conditions have brought larger numbers of deer into town, causing damage to property and environmental habitats, and causing a traffic hazard on the New England Highway.
Hunter LLS has recently conducted an aerial control program in the Upper Hunter removing 2000 deer.
Hunter LLS recommended its aerial shooting operations be complemented by a ground-based operation around Murrurundi.