Duck Hunters Condemn 2019 Duck Season Restrictions

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The Game Management Authority (GMA) has announced their 2019 duck hunting season changes to the public.

Hunters in Victoria and across the country have seen red as the announcement identified significant restrictions to the 2019 duck season in Victoria.

The major changes 

  • The 2019 duck hunting season will be modified from twelve to nine weeks commencing on Saturday 16 March 2019 and closing on Sunday 19 May 2019.
  • The opening weekend of the 2019 season will commence at 9.00 am on Saturday, and 8.00 am on Sunday across the whole of Victoria as part of a two-year trial of opening the season during daylight hours.
  • 4 birds per day on the opening weekend and 5 per day for the remainder of the season and no Blue-winged shoveler in the bag.

These heavily modified changes have angered hunters off the back of a very successful and polished 2018 duck season.

Field and Game Australia through the submission process advocated for a full bag of 10 birds per day and an entire length season. Field and Game also provided ample scientific data to back up their submission.

The government released: "Prevailing and persistent dry conditions across eastern Australia has reduced duck numbers, breeding and wetland habitat in Victoria. As a result, the GMA advised the Victorian Government that a modified season was necessary to reduce the seasonal harvest, to ensure duck hunting is conducted responsibly and remains sustainable for future generations".

Field and Game Australia are calling for a licence fee refund to hunters with the heavily reduced season time.

The SSAA said the cuts were unjustified and demanded the GMA release the data on which it made its decision.

“It is difficult for hunters to accept decisions where there is no clear scientific basis to them,” SSAA Victoria hunting development manager David Laird said.

“The GMA will not even disclose what its recommendations to the minister are and on what basis they have been made.

“The association expects decisions on game management to be based on facts and science, not as it appears, on opinion, prejudice or political expediency.”

Hunters believe the season changes that are politically driven will hurt already struggling rural communities across Victoria.  

GMA Full Media Release

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