Southern Lakes deerstalkers concerned about white tail
deer in the Glenorchy area, at the head of Lake Wakatipu, are
being asked to volunteer to count dead animals following the
Department of Conservation's drop of 1080 poison there.
Doc is expected to spread 1080 over 9000ha of the Dart,
Routeburn and Caples Valleys tomorrow - depending on the
weather - targeting rats and mice populations that have built
up because of a heavy seeding of beech trees.
Lincoln University PhD student Kaylyn McBrearty has just
begun a study of the white tail in the Glenorchy area and two
weeks after the poison drop plans to carry out a ''carcass
count'' of eight areas containing a total four square
kilometres of bush.
She does not know if white tail will die from eating the
poison bait but wants dozens of volunteers to carry out a
thorough search for carcasses and to also note any other dead
animals in the area - including rats and mice.
Ms McBrearty's three-year study is being partly funded by the
New Zealand Deerstalkers' Association and she has also
applied to Doc for funding.
A keen hunter from the Hawkes Bay, Ms McBrearty said no
research had been done on the white tail deer before and she
would be looking at impacts on the herd's population.
The deerstalkers' association had wanted the department to
put deer repellent on the poisoned cereal bait in the
Glenorchy area to protect the white tail they consider a
''pocket of special interest''.
However, Southern Lakes branch president of the association
David Rider told the Otago Daily Times yesterday the
department was unwilling to spend the money.
He estimated the cost of treating all the bait for the
Glenorchy area would have been $150,000 but deerstalkers
would have settled for the bait used in just part of the area
to be treated with repellent, at a cost of $28,000.
Mr Rider said it was his organisation's understanding Doc had
money available to spend on repellent and it was being used
in some other parts of the country.
United Future leader Peter Dunne raised the Glenorchy issue
publicly yesterday, saying he supported the Game Animal
Council's call for deer repellent to be used.
''I am extremely disappointed that Doc has rejected requests
to use deer repellent in the current 1080 operation in the
Mr Dunne said he would expect repellent to be used in the
area because it was ''home to the nationally significant''
white tail deer.
''Doc is going ahead with this 1080 drop with no use of deer
repellent despite requests from the Game Animal Council and
the hunting community.
''This is in direct contrast to the agreement I reached with
the Minister of Conservation [Nick Smith] in February
regarding the use of deer repellent.
''Doc has it wrong here and needs to go back and consider the
views of stakeholders, community, and iwi,'' Mr Dunne said.
Mr Smith's office referred the ODT to the department
In a statement yesterday afternoon, Doc acting director
general services Mike Slater stood by the decision not to use
deer repellent because there was ''little evidence'' the 1080
operation posed a ''significant threat'' to white tail deer.
Mr Slater said Doc wanted a ''constructive relationship''
with deerstalkers and the Game Animal Council and appreciated
their ''broad support'' for the department's ''battle for our
''Doc understand the value deerstalkers put on the white tail
herd and is committed to ensuring the herd is available for
hunters into the future.''