As you know, Parks Victoria is implementing a deer control trial in the Alpine National Park to investigate whether ground shooting can be used to mitigate deer impacts on significant environmental values and if so, what are the most efficient and effective techniques.  This letter provides information on our program for 2019/2020.

Parks Victoria will once again engage a contractor, as well as partner with the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia (SSAA) to deliver the control component of the trial.  

 The contractor and members of the SSAA have significant experience and expertise in deer control and will observe state and national Codes of Practice and Standard Operating Procedures to ensure that best practices in animal welfare are observed.

 Recreational deer hunting is a legitimate activity permitted in the park where the trial is being conducted.  The trial differs from recreational hunting in that it is aimed at protecting alpine peatlands and will therefore be restricted to the areas where these occur.  In these areas, Parks Victoria’s trial will complement the recreational harvest and provide information on the control regime needed, in addition to the recreational harvest, to reduce the impacts of deer to an acceptable level.

 The park will not be closed when deer control work is being undertaken.  Signs will be placed at major access points advising visitors when deer control is being undertaken and which tracks, if any, are closed.  All personnel involved will be working under the supervision of Parks Victoria staff.  They will be readily identifiable and will act in accordance with all legal requirements to ensure the safe use of firearms.

 Control Operation Logistics

Where           Please refer to the attached maps.

 Timing         Volunteer deer control operations are scheduled from (i) Thursday 7th November to Sunday 10th November; Thursday 19th December to Sunday 22nd December; and (iii) Thursday 30th January to Sunday 2nd February.

                 Contractor operations are scheduled from (i) Thursday 16th January to Monday 20th January and (ii) Sunday 2nd February to Thursday 6th February.

 Work is carried out from late afternoon/early evening until after midnight, using spotlights and/or thermal imaging equipment, and most of the work will be undertaken on foot.

 This is the final year of the deer control trial.  The next step is to analyse the results and prepare a plan to guide future deer control in the Alpine National Park based on the results, as well as input from stakeholders and the community.

Download the project overview HERE

Download Area Maps HERE