Dr. Scott Petrie has a newfound appreciation for the freedoms waterfowl hunters have in North America.
Petrie, Delta’s chief executive officer, recently returned from Australia, where he gave a keynote address about waterfowl management at the Conservation Through Sustainable Use of Wildlife Conference in Brisbane. Petrie was invited by David McNabb of Field & Game Australia, and his visit was compliments of the conference committee.
Petrie presented an address about Delta’s role in waterfowl management to a diverse audience of 180 conference attendees from Australia, New Zealand and several other countries. He also spent time afield with McNabb and other FGA leaders.
“It was nice to help FGA, and to help provide guidance on how to grow their organization and deal with anti-hunting,” Petrie said. “It was also great to spread the word about Delta and our conservation programs.”
He describes FGA as a “sister or brother” organization to Delta Waterfowl, albeit halfway around the globe. FGA works on behalf of all conservation and hunter interests in Australia, much the way Delta tackles the same mission in North America.
Living on the driest continent, waterfowl hunters in Australia are at the mercy of timely rains for duck production even more than North American hunters. And while anti-hunters certainly provoke concerns in the United States and Canada, Petrie said Australia has an even greater challenge dealing with people who don’t understand the role hunters play in conservation.
“It’s a very different world for waterfowl hunters in Australia,” he said. “Anti-waterfowl hunting sentiment is strong there. It’s amazing how much influence they have. They can often close down wetlands for the season.”
McNabb found great value in the visit by Delta’s leader.
It was an absolute pleasure getting to know Dr. Petrie, and to share ideas across the waterfowling community,” McNabb said. “It’s reinforced how much collective knowledge there is where our wildlife is valued, that a hunter is a hunter, and that wildlife management needs science, doesn’t matter which continent we’re sitting on.”
McNabb vows to use Delta’s waterfowl conservation successes to further hunting and conservation in Australia. McNabb wrote an eloquent essay about Dr. Petrie’s visit, which you can read here.