Field & Game Australia can advise that after representations today the Game Management Authority has updated its fact sheet on new duck hunting regulations for Victoria.
The clarifications include the taking of a “double” when two birds present and the downing of multiple birds with a single shot.
The update also clarifies what constitutes “reasonable effort” to retrieve game birds and that when using a dog, that threshold is met when the dog has found the bird and has started to return.
Without this clarification FGA Considered the interpretation and application of the new regulation would be difficult, if not impossible for hunters to comply with in a real world hunting environment.
The fact sheet relates to two additional regulations that were inserted by the Wildlife (Game) Amendment Regulations 2018 with the expressed purpose of regulating the collection of game birds and the retention of game meat:
51A Downed game birds to be recovered
A person who hunts, takes or destroys a game bird must make all reasonable efforts to recover the downed game bird immediately after the bird is struck.
Penalty: 20 penalty units.
51B Breast meat of game bird to be kept in possession
(1) Subject to subregulation (2), a person who hunts, takes or destroys a game bird must keep the meat of both breasts of the game bird
in the person's possession until —
(a) immediately prior to cooking; or
(b) that game bird has been taken to the person's place of residence.
Field & Game has no qualms with a requirement to make a reasonable effort to recover game birds and to retain at least the breast meat, it is what we do anyway. This is an extract from our own Code of Ethics:
Every hunter’s objective is to achieve the instantaneous death and efficient recovery of every targeted animal or bird. Where possible, and wherever regulations allow, every animal or bird that is taken should be put to good use.
We are dismayed that the real world experience of FGA and its members was not canvassed in the drafting and we immediately sought modification so the regulations are practical, realistic and do not leave members open to criminal prosecutions.
Richard Light FGA CEO