OMG : Duck Shooting Season

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Araminta's picture
OMG : Duck Shooting Season

Please take some time to read more. My days of standing between the shooters and the ducks are over, I'm too old now. But the question remains: When will we ever learn???

I was so happy to see some Freckled Ducks on Sunday, lucky Ducks, no shooters anywhere near.

there were countless Freckled Ducks amongst the killed . Most of them wouldn't have been dead, but slowly died where they dropped.

Araminta's picture

 Part of our heritage "the recreational shooting of ducks" says the Coalition Government.

Well, are we all proud of that heritage?? Not me.

The Coalition Against Duck Shooting will attempt to have hunters prosecuted for cruelty this duck season if shooters do not immediately retrieve wounded birds. Victoria will have a full 12-week duck hunting season again this year beginning on Saturday March 16, the Baillieu Government announced today. Agriculture and Food Security Minister Peter Walsh said "above-average rainfall between 2010 and 2012 had significantly increased game duck numbers throughout eastern Australia". "Game duck numbers are at their fourth highest level in 30 years," he said. Advertisement Coalition Against Duck Shooting campaign director, Laurie Levy, said the duck season announcement was disappointing.

Mr Levy will lead a team of more than 100 rescuers to duck shooting spots in March and said they would be supporting the prosecution of duck hunters for cruelty. He said the majority of birds shot were still alive when they hit the water and shooters who made no attempt to retrieve wounded birds may have committed a cruelty offence. "Duck shooting has always been about cruelty... you could say that duck shooting is legalised cruelty," he said.

He said the group had raised $10,000 to help authorities monitor and prosecute shooters. "We have been talking to lawyers and believe they (shooters) can be prosecuted," he said. Mr Levy said the current hot weather would reduce duck numbers by the time the season begins. "We are not going to have very many birds in Victoria by the 16th of March, wetlands in the north west are starting to dry out," he said. "So I think it is going to be another really poor season for duck shooters," he said. He said duck shooting was in decline in Victoria. "There are very few duck shooters these days compared to what there used to be 25 years ago," he said.

The Victorian chief executive of the Sporting Shooters' Association, Wayne Holdsworth, welcomed the government's announcement and said duck shooting was one of the

" most popular forms of hunting in Victoria".

"We are very supportive of that decision. It does provide our members with the opportunity to continue hunting as a sport," he said. He said high duck numbers warranted the decision and "it will be well received by our members without doubt". Mr Walsh said game hunting was a "popular recreational activity in Victoria with about 43,000 people licensed to hunt game".

"The Victorian Coalition Government encourages hunters to make the most of the opportunities to hunt

 fish and enjoy these recreational activities, which form part of our heritage," he said. There will be a bag limit of 10 ducks which includes no more than two Australasian (Blue-winged) Shovelers this season. Duck hunters must also pass a waterfowl identification test.


Woko's picture

Certainly not a part of my heritage, Araminta. And not a heritage that makes me proud to be an Australian. Hopefully, wildlife lovers will be inundating the Victorian government with protests about this legalised cruelty. In fact, I'm surprised Laurie Levy hasn't made the point that any wounded duck has had cruelty done to it, not just the ones that aren't retrieved.

While there are, as I understand it, some shooter organisations which help develop/maintain wetlands it's a shame, in my opinion, that their motivation is to kill wildlife produced by the wetlands. Perhaps the alleged decrease in shooter numbers reflects a shift towards conservation rather than killing of ducks.

In spite of the requirements on waterfowl identification rare freckled ducks continue to be slaughtered by what can only be described as unscrupulous shooters. Clearly, an important part of conserving this rare species is to ban duck hunting & focus on conservation.

In the past I have witnessed heaps of rubbish left behind by many shooters at Bool Lagoon in SA. This rubbish included lead shot & shotgun cartridges. There was great concern about lead shot entering the food chain &, if I remember correctly, this was rectified by the use of steelshot. I would be interested to know if shooters have tried to improve their environmental credentials further by being more fastidious with their junk. Even so, they could go even further by carefully storing their weapons & their ammunition in carefully locked vaults & throwing away the keys. Alternatively, a gun & ammunition cull by the Victorian government would enhance its lowly-ebbed environmental standing and set a standard for other state governments to emulate.

In this day & age when increasing numbers of people are aware of the importance of conservation the statements from the shooterphiles would seem to be antediluvian at best. There's a way to go yet, folks.

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