In the short grass on a farm in Tasmania’s central midlands, Scott Chorley is squatting. He lets off one shot. It strikes a fallow deer square in the eyes as it resounds over the level grassland. He has over 400 this year and 50 for the evening. Chorley, one of a group of seven professional hunters, kills roughly 900 deer a year. Then he lets them decay.
He explains, «I just kill them and leave them on the ground.»
Although Chorley is permitted to take some flesh for personal consumption, he is not permitted to sell any of it due to a rule safeguarding deer. Since their remains are dumped in pits, approximately 15,000 deer are shot in Tasmania every year.
Landowners in Tasmania must apply for a crop protection permit to shoot deer, and hunters must possess a game license, which only permits them to shoot during a specific season. If not, they are regarded as a protected species.
To assist the farmers, Chorley kills the deer; in return, they let him hunt other animals he may sell.
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«Twenty years ago, I used to get excited if I saw three deer at once. I think it’s unusual if I go out now and don’t see 50 to 100 people a night,» he says.
On farms, he claims to have witnessed pits containing 2,000 dead deer. Numerous animals are herded into a ravine and shot at during one annual occasion.
In particular, in Tasmania, environmentalists, farmers, and hunters do not frequently get along. But they both concur that there are too many deer.