SSAA Farmer Assist Assessment Target
To become a participant of the SSAA Farmer Assist program, members will need to display a competent level of proficiency in firearm use. This requirement will demonstrate an appropriate level of marksmanship equivalent to commercial macropod harvesters (professional shooters). This will counter claims by various groups that control activities should only be done by professional or paid operators. The reluctance in certain parts of the community to endorse the use of any person other than a professional is purely based on perceived animal welfare concerns. Unfortunately, paying someone to do a job doesn’t necessarily mean you always get the best outcome. The skill requirements for this program will hopefully go a long way to address this issue and will help eliminate such perceptions.
SSAA National believes that animal welfare concerns are appropriately addressed in the SSAA Farmer Assist program through the individual member’s obligation to obtain the proficiency requirements and adhere to a dedicated Code of Practice. Codes of Practice are common instruments used by many industries to address and overcome animal welfare concerns. These requirements will ensure that SSAA members can display the necessary skills and knowledge to perform the task at hand in a publicly acceptable manner with high regard to animal welfare.
The principles of ethical hunting and shooting dictate that a shooter should make every effort to get as close as possible to the intended target and depending on circumstances, shoot from a stable supported position. A supported position involves using aids such as bipods and vehicle-mounted shooting rests, fence posts or natural objects such as trees, branches and ground-based objects.
To display the necessary marksmanship skill level to participate in this program, SSAA members are required to shoot a five-shot group within the assessment zone of the SSAA Farmer Assist Assessment Target at a SSAA range. Members can use either a rimfire or centrefire rifle to complete the assessment. Once a member has successfully demonstrated the required marksmanship, a range officer from the range must sign-off the target. The signed target must be kept by the member and available for display to the farmer on request.
- Rimfire assessment must be conducted at a minimum range of 50m.
- Centrefire assessment must be conducted at a minimum range of 100m.
Members are able to choose their most favoured field shooting position for the assessment task, which includes shooting with a bipod or other support. However, shooting from a bench rest position where a firearm is totally supported is not allowed.
To organise the shooting of the assessment target, members should contact their local SSAA range and ask when is the best time to undertake the assessment. In most cases this can be done during casual shooting times outside of competition days.