In 1974 a small group of hunters began hunting sambar deer together in the Northeast of Victoria. After some unpleasant encounters with several crews hound hunting, they decided to form a stalkers only club. The founding members of the association were staunch advocates of stalking, and after a meeting held at the Council Club Hotel in Wangaratta the NEDSA was born. That first meeting was attended by approximately 100 interested stalkers and the association has been going strong ever since.
The founding concerns were the protection of deer for sustainable harvest from the irresponsible practices being adopted by some dog crews at that time. The deer stalkers were actively involved in working with government bodies to ensure stalking access to the then proposed Alpine National Park. It is a matter of public record that in no small part through the efforts of these men and their allies that deer stalking is still permitted in large areas of the alpine park today.
The North Eastern Deerstalkers Association aims to:
- Promote greater interest in deer and deer stalking and to encourage support for deer conservation to ensure hunting for future generations.
- Gather and distribute information to association members about deer and deer stalking.
- Assist association members with the organization of small party hunting excursions
- Prepare and conduct courses on topics such as hunting, bushcraft, survival, trophy presentation, care of equipment and safe handling of firearms.
- Assist in emergency situations if required.
- Maintain liaison with similarly oriented organizations.
- The association does not agree with hound hunting, spotlighting, shooting from mechanised transport or any unethical pursuit of deer, members are permitted to use companion dogs in accordance with relevant regulations.
- Members shall obey ALL game laws and shall not engage in commercial harvest or sell deer produce.
- Members shall hunt in accordance with the ideals of good sportsmanship and will endeavour to avoid wounding, and to follow up all wounded game. Suitable firearms will be used in all instances.
- Members will endeavour to promote the better understanding with landholders, to keep public opinion with them. Members actions must not bring discredit to the association.