Minister for DPIPWE, Peter Gutwein has today swallowed the bait offered up by animal activists and officially banned ALL bowhunting activity in Tasmania.
This follows a fiery few days where Gutwein has taken aim at bowhunters both in his home state, and the rest of the world, calling them “disgusting and cruel”.
In fact, he went on to say he did not think it was “acceptable to be shooting anything with a bow and arrow“.
Is Gutwein suggesting that indigenous people around the world who still enjoy their heritage and culture of hunting food and controlling wildlife with a bow, or other traditional methods, are disgusting and cruel?
How about our own European ancestors, who have been hunting with bows for thousands of years? Also disgusting and cruel?
So how did this mess start?
Last week, two wallabies were found with arrows in them.
Let’s just state a few facts here:
- It is already illegal to bow hunt native animals anywhere in Australia.
- These animals were shot using target arrows, which suggests that it was more likely young kids than experienced bowhunters.
- Bowhunting was already heavily restricted in Tasmania, with only rabbits, hares, wild goats and feral cats allowed to be taken with a bow.
Yet despite all these facts, the usual plethora of enraged activists sprung into action to try to use the illegal act to somehow condemn all bowhunters (and by extension, all hunters).
Unfortunately, the ruse worked.
First, they drew an incredibly long bow, linking the illegal and unethical act to Hunting Tasmania, a private business in Tasmania that offers meat and trophy hunts of fallow deer on a private, high-fenced property in the North of Tasmania – a property that was actually operating within the guidelines and regulations of Tasmanian law, as set out by Gutwein’s own department.
But not anymore.
Gutless Gutwein has delivered on his promise to shut the business down, and rushed through changes faster than Jacinda Adern going after hunters!
This afternoon, we received word that Deidre Wilson, General Manager, Corporate Services Division, DPIPWE has “reinterpreted” the laws to remove any loopholes that previously allowed farmed deer or feral animals to be taken with a bow.
Now you cannot even take a feral animal with a bow.
But don’t cheer for the animals.
They can still be killed by a variety of methods. You can gut shoot them with a rifle, stick them with a knife, you can poison them with 1080 (a favourite method of DPIPWE) or if you feel like it, you can smash their skull with a bolt gun, which is what other meat processors do to kill livestock. But don’t you dare do what our ancestors have done since time began and use a bow…
Maybe before he caved to a vocal minority, Gutwein should have considered what else those same activists want to ban.
What’s clear is that the two major parties here in Tasmania hate hunting in all its forms – not even traditional hunting methods are supported!
To paraphrase Martin Niemöller:
First they came for the hunters, and I did not speak out because I was not a hunter.
Then they came for the fishermen but I did not speak out, because I did not fish.
They came for the farmers and I did not speak out because I was not a farmer.
Then they came for me—taking my right to choose the food I feed my family, but there was no one left to speak for me.
As a society, we need to stop viewing the attacks on our personal freedoms as ‘not my problem’. Unless we stand together against the vocal minority, we will lose all rights to hunt, fish, 4WD, camp, farm and yes, even eat meat.
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I Am Hunter team member, Rebecca Byfield, spoke to Jason Selmes from Australian Hunting Podcast in the lead up to the Federal Election to discuss