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Deer, Income Potential and Pest at Guriasa Village

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Three young peoples of Tambrauw, West Papua, bring deer after hunting. Deer is one of the protein sources to the Papuan people. (EcoNusa/Mochammad Fikri)

Papua has the remaining rainforest in Indonesia. Thousands of flora and fauna live here, including deer. In Tanah Papua, deer is one of the hunted animals as the source of protein to the local community, in addition to wild boar and lau-lau (Papuan kangaroo). The deer meat is commonly found at the local market such as in Kaimana, Merauke, Fakfak, Manokwari, and Jayapura. The traders process the meat into jerked meat and meatball. 

One of the meat deer suppliers is Guriasa Village at Buruway District, Kaimana. People in Guriasa initially hunted deer because they become pest. Those deer destroy nutmeg cultivated by the locals. “Trap has been set up, but the deer knew it and jump to create another new way,” said Guriasa Village Head, Yance Maesak, when visited by EcoNusa team, on Wednesday, 5 October 2022.

Every family in Guriasa has their own nutmeg garden. There are 86 families in the village. Each has around 1 hectare plot of land at the customary forests. The deer that live mostly at the swamp nearby Guriasa go into the forests and destroy the local nutmeg plantation. When the village is unattended, the deer has the guts to go into the village. 

In addition to domestic consumption, the community also sells the hunted deer meat. There is buyer of deer meat from Timika coming to the village twice a month. The buyer usually brings cool box and stays for 2-3 days in the village. At that moment, Guriasa people will go to the forests and swamps to hunt deer. They bring dogs with them as hunting assistances. 

Guriasa Village, Kaimana, West Papua. (EcoNusa/Nur Alfiyah) 

In those three days, the people could capture dozen of deer. “They could sell 6 tons of meat to the buyer from Timika,” said Yan Aruri, a local of Guriasa. One kilogram of deer meat cost Rp30,000 by the local buyer here. The community usually sells the meat to buyer from Kaimana City. 

Guriasa people does not do hunting every day because they could not preserve the meat at the village due to the minimum supply of electricity. Their electricity comes from the diesel generator which is only turned on at night for lighting. The community hopes that the State-owned Electricity Company (PLN) installation could go in the village. “When there is light, we could use cool box,” said Yance.

Not only hunting for deer, Guriasa people also catches wild boar and cassowary when they encounter those animals in the forests. They sometimes catch wild cow, but very rarely. The locals usually prefer to evade the wild cow. “The cow here has horn. Yesterday there was one injured by the horn and was brought to the hospital,” said Yance.

From Kaimana City, Guriasa could be accessed from sea track passing the Arafura Sea for 1-3 hours, depending on the wind and boat engine. The trip was continued by passing the vast Buruway River for about 45 minutes to 1.5 hours. People should stay alert crossing the river here due to the floating tree trunks. There is wood processing company operating in this district. 

Editor: Leo Wahyudi     

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