Duck season set to return

A DUCK season lasting for 12 weeks will be held in Victoria this year starting on March 15.

Agriculture Minister Peter Walsh recently announced the duration of the season and said game hunting generated $100 million annually in Victoria.

Mr Walsh said the Victorian season would fall into line with Tasmania and South Australia.

“Game hunting is part of Victoria’s heritage,” Mr Walsh said.

“The government encourages our state’s 45,000 licensed game hunters to make the most of Victoria’s opportunities to enjoy this recreational activity.”

He has accepted the Hunting Advisory Committee’s recommendation for a full season due to the distribution of game ducks throughout eastern Australia along with extensive waterfowl habitat in southern Victoria and South Australia.

There is a bag limit of 10 ducks with the season opening at 7.10am in the eastern zone, 7.20am in central zone and 7.30am in western zone.

The season closes 30 minutes after sunset on June 9.

“Game hunting generates around $100 million annually and supports jobs in hospitality and recreational supplies, such as vehicles, boats, fuel, firearms and ammunition, plus camping and hunting equipment,” Mr Walsh said.

“Various stakeholders including bird conservation, animal welfare and hunting organisations were consulted in making this decision and I am confident there are sustainable bird numbers and habitat for a full season.

“The daily bag limit will remain at 10 game ducks, with no more than two Australasian (blue-winged) Shovelers on any day.

“Anyone wishing to go duck hunting in Victoria must also pass a waterfowl identification test which examines a hunter’s ability to identify waterfowl species.

“This helps to ensure duck hunting remains sustainable and prevents non-game birds from being mistakenly taken.”

Mr Walsh said the government was in the process of establishing a Game Management Authority to regulate hunting and provide a collaborative approach to game management.

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