Canberra-based south coast landowners like deer too much to cull them and are contributing to an increase in the deer population, a landcare association has warned.
One hunter's lobbyist group wants recreational hunters more involved in efforts to curb the deer.
Shoalhaven Landcare Association said in a submission to a federal parliamentary inquiry on the impacts of feral pests in Australia "not traditional rural dwellers" had positive views on deer and were hesitant to allow guns or hunters on their properties and were concerned about baiting programs to control other feral pests.
"Though [south coast landowners] in theory support feral pest control, either for environmental or agricultural reasons, there are many reservations about control techniques," the submission said.
Speaking to The Canberra Times, the landcare association's vice-chair Greg Thompson said Sydneysiders and Canberrans made it harder to deal with the pest.
"There's a bunch of people who live here who've got a European background and think it's quite nice to have deer around the place," Mr Thompson said.
Mr Thompson said it was mainly absentee owners from Sydney and, further south, Canberrans.
But the major obstacles were inaccessible landscape and how fast and far deer travelled, he said.
Australian Deer Association executive office Barry Howlett, whose organisation lobbies for deer hunters, said the soft views people had on non-native animals like deer was a problem.
"Charismatic mega fauna is the term. It's a major problem of wildlife management in Australia," he said.
He said people should be blind to the animal and look at the destruction they were causing.
Mr Howlett said a uniform approach to deal with deer was needed across the state.
The government's South East Regional Strategic Pest Animal Plan 2018 - 2023 said the region's deer population had been increasing "dramatically", competed with native wildlife for food, caused traffic accidents, damaged crops and carried diseases harmful to livestock.
The plan was mainly focused at preventing established deer populations from entering new areas.
Mr Howlett said it ignored the potential contribution of recreational hunters and said there would never be enough funding for effective state-managed control programs.
Using the help of recreational hunters had been suggested to the government by the Natural Resources Commission in its report on deer in 2017 but had been ignored.
The landcare association wanted a clearer position on feral pests, also including goats and rabbits, from the federal and state governments so it could get more support for their activities.
Mr Thompson said deer were mainly causing damage to fences on farmland, allowing livestock to escape.
He also said revegetation projects were being damaged by deer.
Mr Thompson said there were populations around Ulladulla, Nowra and Illawarra.
The submission said landowners were frustrated by restrictions on shooting.
"Public lands in our areas have significant feral pest problems, which are not being addressed by government agencies," the submission said.
"We believe that these agencies are not adequately resourced to undertake the required pest control."
The landcare association said firearm and hunting license laws should be relaxed.
Mr Howlett said hunting laws were already relaxed and a "holistic strategic approach to deer management" was needed instead.
Mr Thompson said apps and databases to track deer relied on the public to input data themselves.
"If you pinpoint where deer are seen you might run the risk of encouraging illegal hunting," he said.
The Invasive Species Council recently warned The Sunday Canberra Times a "serious effort" needed to be made to curb the region's expanding deer population.
The council said unchecked deer populations would cause traffic chaos in Canberra.
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