Thousands of hunters are already heading out to their favourite wetlands for the opening weekend of Victoria and South Australia’s respective duck seasons.
Field & Game Australia’s members pride themselves on acting as ambassadors for the tradition of duck hunting, encouraging ethical, sustainable use, and contributing to conservation efforts all year ‘round over the thousands of hectares of wetland habitat that is so important to our waterbirds.
Field & Game Australia fully supports the Victorian Game Management Authority’s RESPECT campaign, and encourage all hunters to show leadership out on the swamp, whether it’s opening weekend or later on in the season.
Field & Game Australia Chairman Bill Paterson said “while there will be protester activity at some wetlands, we expect all our members to hunt humanely and treat other individuals with respect.”
“While hunters and other law-abiding firearm owners have undertaken various training and education programs in order to obtain their respective licences, protesters have had no such training and have undergone no such scrutiny, and will likely be ill-prepared for the conditions on the day.
“We encourage our members to continue to act respectfully and ethically while out on the wetlands and waterways this season.”
The Game Management Authority’s RESPECT campaign focuses on hunting responsibly, with a focus on ethical, humane and respectful treatment of both the chosen quarry, the environment, and other people around you while out on the waterways. Field & Game Australia’s Code of Conduct contains similar advice.
Mr Paterson also said “while the birds will be hard-earned this season, that’s no reason for our members to drop their standards. Maintaining the traditions of hunting in Australia is an important cultural activity, all the more reason to ensure our members behave as ambassadors for hunting.”
Field & Game Australia members found to be behaving inappropriately may lose membership privileges in addition to any fines or penalties imposed by the relevant authorities, as the organisation has a low tolerance for misbehaviour from members, especially concerning the ethics of hunting.
Bill Paterson said “with decades of habitat improvement and wetland conservation to our name, we take a very dim view of hunters who do not set an example when out enjoying the opportunities to bring home wild-reared, truly free-range meat for the table.”