The demonstrated lack of respect for Victorian hunting laws and regulations last weekend have resulted in a decision to close the Koorangie State Game Reserve to hunting.
The Koorangie State Game Reserve, which encompasses Lake Bael Bael and First, Second and Third Marshes is to be closed due to the presence of Freckled and Blue-billed ducks.
Normally we would dispute that wetlands need to be closed due to the presence of these birds, as we did last year when closures were implemented based on assumptions. However, the evidence presented and behaviour observed last weekend has damaged the reputation of all responsible hunters. As a consequence, the majority are now paying for the illegal actions of a few.
Field & Game Australia condemns the irresponsible and illegal hunting which took place last weekend. Uncollected game, non-game species, and early shooting are unacceptable for the majority of hunters, and for Field & Game Australia.
The uncomfortable truth is that the actions of these individuals will continue to have a real impact on the majority of hunters this season. Their actions, in blatant disregard of the Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals in Hunting (revision no. 1), and the Wildlife (Game) Regulations 2012 have tarnished the entire hunting community.
Field & Game Australia supports legal, ethical, responsible hunting, and we support hunters who show respect for the tradition of hunting, and for their quarry.
As responsible hunters we have an obligation to report suspected illegal hunting activity to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or to the GMA on 136 186 or through their website www.gma.vic.gov.au.
Koorangie State Game Reserve will be closed to hunting as of Saturday, 25 March. Read the GMA media release here.