Late last Friday night,¬†Victorian Minister for Agriculture, Jaala Pulford, announced via this media release that there will be a full-length duck hunting season in Victoria this year, albeit¬†with modified bag and species limits.
In 2016, the bag limit will be reduced from 10 birds per day to eight birds for the opening day and four birds per day for the remainder of the season. The hunting of Blue-winged Shoveler will be prohibited and the season will last 12 weeks, opening day will be Saturday 19 March and it will close on Monday 13 June.
The decision to modify the 2016 duck season is apparently based on “expert advice” from the Game Management Authority (GMA), who cited below average rainfall and¬†reduced duck numbers and habitat as its reasons for recommending that a reduced bag.
‚ÄúThe changes to the 2016 duck season in Victoria reflect the impact of the prevailing dry conditions on native duck numbers, breeding and habitat availability across large areas of eastern Australia‚Äù, said¬†Minister for Environment, Lisa Neville
The Field and Game Association, however, while welcoming the announcement that there will be¬†a season, has slammed the decision to reduce bag limits.
“It’s frustrating that many factors affecting hunting are not based on facts and data”, said¬†Field and Game Australia (FGA) Chairman, Bill Patterson,¬†noting¬†the highly nomadic nature of Australian ducks and the fact that reduced bag limits has no effect on the number of ducks harvested. You can read the full FGA response HERE.
Ed Gannon from the Weekly Times, mean while, has heabily criticised the timing of the decision, saying that leaving the announcment until 10.30 pm on a Friday night was an act of “political cowardice”.
You can find further infomation about the 2016 Victorian duck season on the Game Management Authority website.¬†
Finally, you might get a laugh out of the photo that SBS used to accompany their report on the announcement of the season.
‚ÄúThe changes to the 2016 duck season in Victoria reflect the impact of the prevailing dry conditions on native duck numbers, breeding and habitat availability across large areas of eastern Australia.‚Äù