RECREATIONAL hunting in the NT is more popular than ever, with a record 2500 permits issued for the upcoming waterfowl season.

The NT Field and Game spokesman, Bart Irwin, said the number of hunters in the NT had increased since 2015.

“Worldwide, hunting is on the incline,” he said.

“The attitude in the NT toward hunting was always spectacular.

“If we use the animal for all it’s worth, it’s no different to the chicken I had for lunch.”

Mr Irwin said the permitted waterfowl hunter in the NT took less than five per cent of magpie geese in the NT.

“The sustainable level of magpie geese is 11 to 14 per cent,” he said.

“There’s no way we can even get close to (unsustainable hunting of waterfowl).”

Hunting enthusiast Gavin Lovelock said there were more families hunting in the NT than in previous years.

He teaches his twins Jack, 7, and Sam, 7, the importance of hunting ethics and gun safety.

Mr Lovelock said the Territorian lifestyle encouraged people to hunt, fish, and pursue outdoor activities.

“Hunters are a valuable part of the NT tourism industry,” he said.

Mr Lovelock said people who recently renewed their gun licence would likely opt for a longer permit, which may have increased the number of NT hunting permits.

Five-year licences were extended to 10, and one- and three-year licences increased to five years earlier this year.

Statistics from the Parks and Wildlife Commission NT show a steady increase in the number of permit holders for both waterfowl hunting and pig hunting.

In regards to pig hunting, the total number of permits held in the 2014/15 financial year was 606.

This number increased to 886 in the 2015/16 financial year. The number of waterfowl hunting permits granted leapt from 2166 to 2450 over the same period.

There are three types of hunting permits available in the NT – pig hunting permits for reserves; pig hunting permits for vacant Crown land; and waterfowl hunting permits.

Yesterday marked the start of the 2016 waterfowl hunting season. Hunters with a permit are allowed to kill waterfowl from October 1 through to December 23. Hunting can only take place between 6am and 7pm in October.


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