Duck hunting season to go ahead in 2014

POLL RESULTS: Duck hunting proves a hot topic

VICTORIA will have a full 12-week duck hunting season in 2014.

Minister for Agriculture and Food Security Peter Walsh announced the season would go ahead with a bag limit of 10 ducks imposed.

Mr Walsh said he had accepted the Hunting Advisory Committee’s
 recommendation of a full season due to the distribution of game ducks
 throughout eastern Australia and the extensive waterfowl habitat in
 southern Victoria and neighboring South Australia.

The 2014 duck hunting season will open on Saturday March 15 at 7.10am in  the eastern zone, 7.20am in the central zone and 7.30am in the western  zone.

The season will close 30 minutes after sunset on Monday, June 9.

VOTE: Should Victoria have a duck hunting season?

“Game hunting is part of Victoria’s heritage. The Coalition Government
 encourages our state’s 45,000 licensed game hunters to make the most of Victoria’s opportunities to enjoy this recreational activity,” Mr Walsh said.

“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.

“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 in 2014.

“This is in line with South Australia and Tasmania which have both
 declared similar seasons for 2014 with bag limits of 10 game ducks.”

Mr Walsh said game duck habitat in Victoria was extensive and game ducks were spread widely across eastern Australia.

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

“Any hunter 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 that duck hunting remains sustainable and prevents non-game birds from being mistakenly taken.

“The Coalition Government is in the process of establishing the Game
 Management Authority to regulate game hunting and provide a collaborative approach to game management in Victoria. It will commence operations on July 1, 2014.”

Mr Walsh said the 2014 Victorian Hunting Guide would be available before the start of the season, while the Game Hunting Victoria smart phone application will also be updated.

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