Token Duck Season Will Heavily Impact Struggling Rural Towns
The announcement to limit duck hunters to three birds a day, as well as a shorter season, has left the hunting and rural community outraged, when considering conditions and duck numbers are even better than last year. This politically-driven decision has disregarded all science in an effort to appease minority groups.
They have put even more pressure on struggling rural communities because hunters are saying "Why even bother?". Unfortunately, this is the exact reaction that anti-hunters are trying to achieve.
Field and Game Australia (FGA) released a statement sharing the sentiments of the hunting and rural community.
"We are outraged by the Victorian Government announcement of a heavily modified 2020 Duck Season which in the circumstances is completely unjustifiable. We can draw only one conclusion; that this is a political compromise not a decision based solely on the available evidence".
"The position taken by FGA during consultation was completely justified and supported by all the available facts, data and science".
Through the submission process Field & Game Australia advocated for a sustainable Duck Season with six birds per day which would also encourage hunters to travel and spend money in regional communities. The Victorian Government ignored an opportunity to provide incentive for more than 25,000 hunters to travel long distances to support regional communities impacted by recent bushfires. The short, heavily restricted season will have a negative economic impact on communities that can least afford it. This is a slap in the face for regional and rural Victorians and we ask all hunters to support these communities.
Despite the ridiculous restrictions and the significant time already lost for preparations, we encourage responsible and ethical hunters to make the most of this limited opportunity.
"The season setting process remains flawed, and the Victorian Government needs to deliver on its commitment to implement
an Adaptive Harvest model which will take the politics out of season setting and instead rely on scientific facts and data," FGA CEO Dean O'Hara said.
"Given the delays, the uncertainty and the now the compromised outcome for the 2020 Duck Season, the sooner politics is taken out of game management decisions the better.'
FGA Chairman Peter Hawker urged members to take up the opportunity to hunt in 2020, enjoying the outdoors, time with family and friends and the wonderful game dishes they will share together.
“The camaraderie of the camp and outings on our favourite wetlands are more important this year than ever, with many of our members being CFA volunteers, farmers, tradies and small business people profoundly affected by the terrible fires around regional Victoria.
“With the community angst about the fires and the prominence of the climate change debate, it would have been easy and politically convenient for the government to abandon the season altogether,” Mr Hawker said. “Let’s make the most of it.”
2020 Duck Season Details
2020 Duck season arrangements
The Victorian Government announced the following arrangements for the 2020 duck hunting season.
Season length (modified)
Season opens – 8am on Saturday 2 May 2020
Season closes – 30 minutes after sunset on Monday 8 June 2020
Bag limits (modified)
Daily bag limit of three game ducks per day for the entire season.
Hunting the Blue-winged Shoveler is prohibited for the 2020 season.
Opening weekend start times (modified)
Hunting on the opening weekend will start at 8am on both Saturday 2 May and Sunday 3 May 2020.
Hunting closes half an hour after sunset on both days.
Rest of season hunting times
For the rest of the season, hunting times will start half an hour before sunrise and end half an hour after sunset.
Game Duck Species permitted to be taken (modified)
Seven of the eight species of game duck can be hunted during 2020. Species that can be hunted are the Pacific Black Duck, Mountain Duck , Chestnut Teal, Grey Teal, Pink-eared Duck, Wood Duck and Hardhead.
Blue-winged Shoveler can not be hunted during the 2020 season due to continued low numbers.
Recently introduced regulations
New regulations were introduced in 2018 that require hunters to immediately retrieve all downed game ducks and to salvage at least the breast meat from all harvested ducks.
All other hunting arrangements remain unchanged.
Only non-toxic shot can be used to hunt ducks anywhere in Victoria.
Hunters are reminded to review our information to ensure accurate identification of waterfowl, humane dispatch methods and responsible hunting techniques.
Please monitor the GMA website before and during the season to see if wetlands have been closed to hunting.
Hunters are reminded to hunt responsibly at all times.