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Walsh declares full duck-hunting season

Victorian Agriculture Minister Peter Walsh announces 2014 duck-hunting season times and regulations.

December 28, 2013 4:04am

Victorian Agriculture Minister Peter Walsh has announced a full 12-week duck-hunting season for next year, with a bag limit of 10 ducks.

Mr Walsh said he had accepted the Hunting Advisory Committee’s recommendation of a full season.

This was because of the distribution of game ducks across 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, and close half an hour after sunset on Monday, June 9.

‘‘The Coalition Government encourages our state’s 45000 licensed game hunters to make the most of Victoria’s opportunities to enjoy this recreational activity,’’ Mr Walsh said at Yarrawonga yesterday.

‘‘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.’’

Mr Walsh said experts in bird conservation and animal welfare and hunting organisations were consulted in making the decision.

‘‘This is in line with South Australia and Tasmania, which have both declared similar seasons for 2014 with bag limits of 10 game ducks,’’ he said.

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.’’

He said the 2014 Victorian Hunting Guide would be available before the start of the season, while the Game Hunting Victoria smartphone application would also be updated.

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