Hunting has blasted back into post-pandemic popularity across Australia.
There is every indication the sport is booming after the removal of COVID-19 restrictions so fans can enjoy the great outdoors again.
Figures just released in Victoria on the annual deer hunting season harvest show 118,900 deer were harvested in 2021.
The 70 per cent rise on the estimated 69,900 deer harvested in 2020 was not a surprise because of the lifting of COVID safety restrictions.
What was a surprise was the 49pc increase in the long-term average.
Victoria had almost 50,000 licenced recreational deer hunters in 2021, the largest ever number - a 20pc jump on the number of recreational deer hunters the year before (41,056).
Of the 49,857 licensed deer hunters, 36 per cent actively hunted in 2021. On average, active deer hunters harvested an estimated 6.6 deer over 13.6 days.
Exploding populations of feral animals like pigs, goats and deer are being increasingly recognised across Australia as a biosecurity risk.
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Feral animals conservatively cost Australia around $720 million per year.
Deer have gone from being a game animal to a pest species and recreational hunting is seen as key to control efforts.
Feral deer are a declared pest animal in Western Australia, South Australia, Northern Territory, ACT and Queensland.
Recent modelling in South Australia found that state's deer population could reach more than 200,000 within a decade, five times the current number, if more efforts weren't made to cull them.
The protected status of deer was only dropped in Queensland in the 1990s.
Deer are still classified as a game species in NSW, Victoria and Tasmania although NSW recently changed its regulations to recognise deer as a pest animal on private land.
Flooding rains across much of Australia in recent years has helped boost feral animal populations although it has filled many dry lakes, swamps and billabongs to boost bag limits for waterbird hunting seasons.
Victoria's Game Management Authority this week postponed its controversial aerial survey of duck numbers due to floods before the bag limits are set for next year's season.
Victoria's annual fox hunt will have zoomed past a million fox scalps collected in the only government reward scheme of its type in Australia which began 10 years ago.
Under the scheme, fox scalps are presented to government officials for collection of a $10 bounty.
In Victoria, the most popular hunting areas for deer were around the towns of Mansfield, Wodonga, Bairnsdale, Benalla and Kinglake.
The highest number of deer harvested were around the towns of Mansfield, Bright, Healesville, Wangaratta and Lakes Entrance.
Meanwhile, the Kangaroo Industry Association of Australia is calling all chefs, epicureans, food artisans, and the health industry, to embrace one of the tastiest, healthiest and most sustainable red meats in the world.
The peak body for the commercial kangaroo industry says kangaroo is a premium quality meat with many health benefits.
KIAA president Ray Borda said commercial harvesting of kangaroos is widely considered by the scientific community, government, animal welfare experts, indigenous groups, and the agricultural industry as a responsible way to manage overabundant kangaroos.