More funding should be provided for professional hunting to eradicate feral animals in national parks instead of opening them to recreational hunters, according to Cowra's bushwalking group president.
Steve Howard of Upper Lachlan Bushwalkers said the enjoyment of bushwalking in nearby Pennsylvania State Forest is spoilt by hunters allowed to shoot feral animals in the area.
"That's been open to hunters for a couple of years … you go out to have a bit of peace and quiet and it changes your experience out there, even seeing the [hunters] you'd probably say … were responsible.
"It's always at the back of the mind, when you're out there walking, that somebody may take a shot when they half see something and don't know what it is.
"It takes away from your enjoyment and relaxation which is what you go out there to do."
National parks near Cowra including Conimbla, Nangar, Weddin Mountains and Goobang are not among areas the state government is considering allowing recreational hunters to shoot feral animals.
State conservation areas (SCAs) including Mount Canobolas and Mullion Range, and Abercrombie River National Park however are being considered for volunteer pest control.
Mr Howard said he has only seen evidence of damage by feral pigs once in a local national park over 15 years of bushwalking, and that they are seen more often in areas already opened to hunting.
He said professional hunters will tend to eradicate feral animals from national parks systematically, whereas recreational hunters will tend to concentrate on certain areas and miss others.
Peter Bruem, Cowra Rifle Club secretary, said Abercrombie River National Park and Mt Canobolas and Mullion Range SCAs are unlikely to become popular with local hunters, who are able to shoot in Pennsylvania State Forest and Roseberg State Forest closer to home.
He said he would welcome Conimbla National Park being included with areas considered for recreational hunting of feral animals.
Hunters will have to be accredited and hold Game Council R licences to shoot in national parks, he said.
"You have to have a clean criminal record [for the licence], you have to have the appropriate firearms licences, you have to score 100 per cent in a test that includes Code of Practice and Law, Animal Welfare, Safe Hunting Practices and Ethics and Conservation. It is a rather comprehensive test," he said.
"The people that actually undertake this conservation hunting are fully licensed, fully insured, responsible members of the community. They're the same people that conducted the deer control program on Bellevue Hill," he said, referring to a program several years ago in which the Game Council helped rid the area of deer.
The government announced in late May the Game and Feral Animal Control Act will be amended to allow shooting of feral animals in "a limited number of areas under strict conditions" but not near metropolitan areas or wilderness or world heritage areas.
A National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) spokesperson said it has a range of protocols and procedures that address staff and public safety issues under shooting programs ongoing in parks.
"These will be incorporated into the new volunteer pest management program as it is developed," she said.
National park areas where pest control is underway will be closed to the public and will be advertised on the NPWS website and access points will be signposted before any shooting takes place.
She said current pest control programs in parks have no impact on tourism or visitation, and denied feral animals are more prevalent in state forests, some of which are already open to hunting, than national parks, nature reserves and state conservation areas.