Waterfowling is one of the fastest growing sports in North America. It has always been a popular sport, but with the insane popularity of Duck Dynasty and other shows similar there has been a drastic upward trend in the amount of people taking to the woods in search of the almighty Green-head. One would think that trend would also be seen in other parts of the world. This is true in places such as Brazil, Argentina, and even the Middle East. Now for our friends down under? The trend could not be more polarized.
Waterfowl hunting in Australia has slowly decreased in popularity over the last five years. Dwindling numbers and the growing concern over gun control has yielded far less people in the woods.
The average annual harvest in Australia is around 390,000 birds compared to upwards of 10 million killed in the United States. The ecological departments of Australia are trying to determine the cause of the decrease in waterfowl population over the years. Hunters are blamed even if there is no significant evidence that it is detrimental. States such as New South Wales, Queensland, and West Australia have even went as far as to ban the sport.
Citing a local interview, Dean Rundell describes how the culture sees hunters:
"Some think we aren't compassionate or sympathetic people.
"Others think we are just feral and shoot anything we see."
Sounds like something straight from Hollywood's mouth.
An article posted to "Independent Australia" shows pictures of ducks with their necks being rung and calling the season "slaughter season". The author even goes as far as comparing hunters to arsonists by stating: "For example, shooting helps them “connect with nature”. I mean, seriously? Destroying nature is now connecting with it? Could an arsonist not use the same line when they head into the bush with a box of matches?"
The ignorance speaks for itself.
There is another largely possible reason for the outrage and one that is very easy to agree with; There were over a billion animals lost in the wildfires this year in Australia. So I can definitely see where the extra killing of animals could seem excessive to some. To others like Dean and many of us, it is where they find their solace, confidence, well-being, and connection to nature. Not to be confused as arsonists, the few still reign strong while they can.
All I have to say is that there's always room in my blind for you blokes, and I am thankful to live in a country that supports such an ecosystem where birds can thrive and prosper.