VHH President’s Report April 2018

I stood down as President at the 2018 Microchip Day. Unfortunately, I have experienced continued pressure through my employment and I will not be able to continue with my outside interest being the VHH Presidency. I would have clocked up 7 x years this August, and I believe it is probably time for a change regardless. I handed over to Vice President Les Palmer to fulfil the role until the AGM in August of this year. This will give the membership a solid 5 months to consider suitable candidates for the position.

I fully understand if this decision creates some confusion following the contest that played out at the last AGM, I stood for re-election at that time in order to provide some stability, and I am grateful for the support I was shown. It has been asked in the past what our strategy is, I consider the answer to be simply continue on as you do. Our strength is our family/community focus; at a time of disengaged youth, fragmented families, and drug abuse, the VHH and indeed hound hunting in general offers a worthwhile, supportive, and wholesome way of life. Unlike a Union we really do not have a lot to lobby with; we cannot refuse to drive trains or unload ships. In terms of votes, there are about 4500 hound hunters out of a state population in excess of 5 million; we lack clout in the area of votes. The one thing we do really well is the Microchip day, promoting women as hunters, and engaging children; a great deal of thanks must go to Glenyse and Shannon for seeing the benefit of these activities very early on and then working hard to build on those early days.

Looking back over my time as President I reflect on the positive decision to include Harriers as the 3rd breed of hound deemed suitable for hunting Sambar deer in this State. A great deal of hard work by many individuals within our organisation combined with some excellent lobbying by the VHH resulted in this decision, along with some common-sense inclusions such as the lawful use of tracking equipment

I am also very proud of the volunteer work performed by our committee in relation to fund raising, establishing and growing an outstanding Microchip Day, VHH merchandise, the VHH Ball, and commitment to other events as representatives of the VHH.

Generating more land for hound hunting remains a priority and I am confident the current committee will maintain this as a focus moving forward. Hound hunters possess common sense when it comes to what actually goes on in the bush, they understand that the deer numbers will continue to explode and that hunting with scent trailing hounds is the only realistic way to maintain some form of control over the deer population. Our constant push for access to the vast National Parks has been met with resistance from those who have no understanding of the extraordinary number of deer enjoying refuge in these areas. The deer will continue to decimate the eco system in the Park unless hounds are utilised as a control measure.

I look forward to keeping in touch and giving a hand where I can.

Thanks again for all of the support I have received and for all that the committee and volunteers do, you are a passionate and amazing group.

Mark Hesse

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