The objects for which the RIDGE Group was established in 1992 are:-
To research the impact that deer have on the environment and to develop and implement management strategies both solely and in conjunction with Government Departments or agencies and private organisations and individuals.
To identify the genetic path of Australia’s wild deer herds and develop and implement strategies to improve their potential and secure their future.
To promote the recreational, economic and historical value of deer.
To foster better relations between Government Departments, landowners and hunters.
To promote availability of hunting opportunities.
A Brief History of RIDGE...
The group known as RIDGE (Research into Deer Genetics and Environment) was initiated in 1992 as a non-profit organisation open to all interested parties, with the aim of instigating a self funding, self regulating and sustainable management system for wild deer in Queensland.
The group has actively promoted management techniques such as strategic fencing, cropping and pasture rotation, combined with hunting for venison and trophies along with seasonal herd culling, to provide a balance within wild deer herd which is acceptable to land users, with the aim of improving overall herd quality
These management principles have been based on information and research from other countries, as well as information gathered from Australian Government Departments, Sporting Clubs, private individuals and research conducted directly by the group itself. All management principles are currently being evaluated and refined under actual field conditions.
RIDGE actively supports cooperation between landowners and hunters by providing legal access through a balloted hunting system, as well as hunter education and herd management activities. This system provides the opportunity for gathering data and educating new hunters towards an ethical approach to hunting while at the same time allowing the participating landowners to obtain a financial reward from wild deer on their land. This system has received widespread support from local authorities and other land users.
The RIDGE group’s ongoing research strategy is funded largely from money raised within the group, while personnel from Queensland Universities and private individuals carry out this research.
RIDGE membership is growing steadily and has representation from the majority of deer interest groups within Australia.