Hear stories from individuals and community groups across Australia who are implementing feral deer control projects and property owners directly impacted by feral deer.
A Community Voice
The Sugarloaf Link Project is a three year project funded by the Victorian Government’s Biodiversity Response Planning program. This program looked at the use of professional shooters to control feral deer numbers on private property.
Introduced to Australia as a game animal, feral deer are rampant across the country, devouring pasture and causing environmental damage. Control solutions are not simple.
“We have rebuilt habitat in previously degraded areas and that’s why we are so fearful of a threat like deer”
Wal Mayr – Gold Coast Hinterland, Qld
“10 years ago I saw the first deer, I didn’t really think about the impacts of pest deer until about 3 or 4 years ago when we saw them in huge numbers”
Cheryl Batagol – Landowner in Cape Liptrap, Vic
Deer ring bark, they eat, they break off growth consequently recruitment of new young trees coming to regenerate the land is not working”
Mariana and Mitch – landowners
In order to be Wold Heritage you have to maintain the natural and cultural values for which you are listed and feral deer put that at risk because what they’re doing is undermining some of the specific criteria for which World Heritage was granted.”
– Christine Milne – Ambassador for Invasive Species Council
Hear from Sunshine Coast Council team leader for feral animal education and control, about feral deer management in their area. Dairy farmer Peter Watson talks about the impacts his dairy enterprise has faced from deer increasing in numbers since 1996.
– Sunshine Coast Council
Lets hear from farmers impacted by feral deer
“If I didn’t have a deer problem, I could run an extra 500 sheep on top of the 800 I farm. They are also changing the ecosystem and reducing biodiversity on my land”
– Simon, sheep farmer
“The few hundred deer on my land increased ten fold in six years. We move livestock around to let pasture recover, but deer just eat the paddocks we are resting. We use a professional shooter and if I have a spare hour, I also go shoot deer”
– Harvey, cattle farmer
“I used to have 50 cows in a paddock. When deer came, I had to reduce this to 20 cows and feed them. One day I had 150 deer in that paddock. Long nights of shooting took it’s toll on me. If you have a few deer, get on top of them before they become such a huge problem. They are really impacting our business”
– Mal, cattle farmer
“We weren’t concerned with deer in the landscape until we put in a barley crop. The deer hit that in numbers. We tried to control with night shooting and a fencing program. Work with your neighbours, get a harvester, start your shooting program as the escalation of numbers is dramatic.”
– Michael, crop farmer
“We were shooting 300 to 500 deer a year, impacts on pasture and fences and the risk of biosecurity was a major concern. Our commercial deer operator has been very effective. Now our pasture production has improved and we are spending less nights shooting deer. Deer are very mobile and it doesn’t matter who owns the land – you have to all work together”
– Ted, cattle farmer
“Impacts are constant, like loss of production and carrying capacity of livestock. Deer also attract illegal poachers, who cut fences and leave rotting carcasses. Deer also damage our fencing, which then allows other pests onto our property”