VaTailfeathers wrote:How did the gun explode, was the barrel blocked?
What brand/ model shotgun was it?
Why was the protester so close?
What Hunter Defence orgs do you all have in Australia?
Is anyone taking these protesters to court?
Tailfeathers, two separate stories in the same article, I don't know about the gun exploding, it was totally unrelated to the protester being hit with the stray pellets.
Although we have hunter safety regulations that prevent protesters entering a wetland prior to 10am on both the Sat and Sunday of opening weekend and prohibit them from going within 10m of a hunter, our law enforcement agencies have tended in the past not to pursue protesters into the water and occasionally they will apprehend them as they leave the water. Where this incident happened it is a large lake, much of it wadeable. Hunters tend to be mobile, not using decoys and would normally stand by available cover when a bird is taken, a hunter would walk out to retrieve and move onto the next bit of cover. This lake probably had 2000+ hunters on opening day and somewhere near 150 protesters. The protesters wade and paddle kayaks while waving flags and blowing whistles in an attempt to prevent hunters taking a bird. If a hunter downs a bird, then it becomes a race between hunter and protester to get to the bird. The protesters tend to move in groups of 3 or 4 and single out a hunter where they will at times be no more than a meter from the hunter. The women have the foulest mouths you will ever hear! Obviously a hunter has tried to dispatch a wounded bird on the water and this women has be unfortunate enough to be in the line of fire.
We currently have two organisations, the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia who encompass all facets of firearm ownership and use and Field and Game Australia which is solely a shotgun organisation focused on duck hunting. Unfortunately duck hunting in Australia does not have the support that you have in the US. The legislation is there to protect hunters but our government and law enforcement agencies have not had the will to have this enforced. A recent change of state government to a more conservative party may see some changes in the future. Later in our season a number of protesters were arrested and charged and as yet, have not been to court.
The protesters get their funding from government conservation grants, animal rights groups (including some from US) and our national Society to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA). If you want to see what the protesters get up to, check out their web site www.duck.org.au