ANIMAL liberationists have declared open season on feral pig hunters, calling them "rednecks" and satirically urging that "feral hicks" be eradicated "for good".
But Queensland pig hunting championships organiser Ron Owen (pictured) says the theft and alteration of his $400 promotional sign is not funny.
And he says the protesters have missed the point that his Gympie region hunting competition is the most humane solution to a problem which threatens the ecology as well as the economy of Australia.
Mr Owen's sign promoting the Queensland Big Boar Hunting Championships has been altered to read "Queensland Redneck Hunting Championships".
And where his sign used to say "Open to All Hunters with Firearms Bows and Dogs 3 Day Hunt," the protesters have superimposed the words "Eradicate These Cruel Feral Hicks for Good."
Mr Owen's sign, promoting his hunting championships, was reported stolen earlier this month
Yesterday, it re-appeared, on the fence downhill from McDonald's and fronting the Bruce Hwy opposite Centro Way.
Mr Owen says his event has been unfairly and irrationally targeted by animal liberationists.
He says they have missed the point that hunting is far more humane than allowing feral pigs to take over the countryside or using the government's favoured control method, 1080 baiting.
Mr Owen said his antagonists should be facing prosecution, not only for stealing and wilful damage, but for the animal cruelty they are promoting.
"It's a shame their opinions on cruelty are so misconceived," he said.
"There are 25 million feral pigs in Australia; next year there will be 50,000.
"They're starving wildlife by destroying food sources and when they've taken over they will be starving themselves.
"The alternative is baiting.
"All forestry areas have been baited in the last two weeks.
"It causes a three-day, agonising death," he said.