Duck hunting proves a hot topic

POLL: Duck hunting season to go ahead in 2014

Bendigo Advertiser readers are divided over the merits of a full duck hunting season in 2014. 

Victorian Minister for Agriculture and Food Security Peter Walsh announced on Friday the state would have a full 12-week duck hunting season in 2014 with a bag limit of 10 ducks imposed.

The 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, before closing 30 minutes after sunset on Monday, June 9.

A Bendigo Advertiser website poll asking readers if Victoria should have a duck hunting season had attracted 4323 votes by 3.45pm on Monday.

The results were close with 53.3 per cent of voters supporting a duck hunting season for Victoria and 46.7 per cent saying no to the idea.

The ducking hunting story also drew strong debate through website comments.

Ian posted a comment talking of his change of heart to duck hunting.

''Many years ago I was a duck shooter and very much enjoyed the time spent. However, over time I, and several of the mates that I used to go duck shooting with, could no longer ignore the cruelty of the the ducks that we shot that got away to die lingering deaths and the shot ducks still alive and in obvious pain left by other shooters who couldn't be bothered collecting,'' Ian wrote.

''We still go camping but no longer shoot.

''We make a point of camping away from duck shooting areas, so those areas lose out on our dollars.

''I am sure that cruelty free camping brings in far more to the state than does duck shooting - and can be enjoyed by the whole family.''

Lachlan and Scott posted in support of duck hunting.

''Me and my family's thanks go to Minister Walsh (and co) for announcing the 2014 duck hunting season,'' Lachlan wrote.

''We place great value on our hunting heritage, Victoria's waterfowl and freedom to gather our own food; especially sustainably hunting on Victoria's wetlands.''

''Duck season is worth about $60M to Victoria which works out to about $120 per duck harvested. Duck hunting is sustainable because hunters put a value on wetland habitat,'' Scott wrote.

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