Some¬† hunters¬† managed¬† to shoot their reduced bag limit of eight birds during a quiet and mostly incident-free opening to the duck hunting season on Saturday.
According to a report in the Weekly Times, however, hunters are still fuming over the closure of one of the few remaining wetlands in the state just hours before the season opened.
Lake Elizabeth was closed by the Victorian Government after animal activists drew attention to about 150 threatened blue-billed ducks at the popular Kerang game reserve.
Field and Game Australia general manager David McNabb said Lake Elizabeth‚Äôs closure was unprecedented.
‚ÄúThe opinions and decisions of a few individuals have effectively removed freedom of choice from a large number of people,‚Äù he said.
Some of the best hunting was in Gippsland‚Äôs Sale region.
Gary Jago, from Sale, managed to shoot his bag at Heart Morass game reserve.
‚ÄúThe weather was pretty good and so was the shooting,‚Äù he said. ‚ÄúEven if you didn‚Äôt get any ducks it is about the tradition ‚Äì we had 14 (people) in the camp and we‚Äôve been going there together now for 15 years.‚Äù
Mr Jago said he would hunt solo on weekends for the rest of the season.
Perry Gaylard from Aireys Inlet said opening day put wild duck on his menu.
‚ÄúI was pretty successful in the public section of the ¬≠morass and finished with six,‚Äù he said.
‚ÄúI‚Äôve already cooked two of the teal on the Weber (barbecue), very nice.‚Äù
A Game Management Authority spokesman said 13 minor offences were detected by enforcement officers, ¬≠including failure to keep a wing for identification and using lead shot.
Two protesters are still being investigated for allegedly entering water in a hunting area at the wrong time and distance at Lake Connewarre near Geelong.
The duck shooting season will close on June 26, with ¬≠reduced bag limits of four birds a day for the rest of the season.