Concerns over forest shooters
The Northern Rivers Bushwalkers Club has serious concerns regarding the use of State Forests by licensed shooters to hunt feral animals at the same time as other people such as bushwalkers, campers and horse and bike riders may be using the forest.
The recent shooting of a pet dog by a licensed shooter in the Doubleduke State Forest highlights the real risk of human injury or death should shooters and non-shooters be in the same area of the forest at the same time.
On the Sunday prior to the shooting of the dog, our club conducted a bushwalk in the Doubleduke State Forest. We entered the forest via Glencoe Road, about 17kms south of Woodburn. On that day there were no signs at the Glencoe Road entrance, nor anywhere else in our walk area, to warn us that shooters may be present in the forest. Nor were any signs observed when a pre-walk reconnaissance was done.
NSW Forestry has indicated that the public is welcome to use forests for recreational purposes. To allow shooters to be in the forest at the same time as other forest users raises questions of duty of care on the part of those charged with the administration of the forests.