We would like to congratulate duck hunters on a fantastic opening weekend to the 2019 Duck Season and take the opportunity to dispel a few myths.
We’ve seen the claims by anti-hunting activists that duck hunting is as good as dead.
The basis for this claim is the observed number of hunters at wetlands where they were operating, including lake Cullen near Kerang.
In 2018 and again in 2019 we also observed very few hunters on wetlands where activists were present.
Hunters have made a clear choice to avoid the circus, frustrated by years of inaction by authorities to prevent these zealots from entering the water in contravention of regulations and interfering with hunters by standing in their shot zone, or in their decoys.
FGA witnessed the same activity on opening morning at Lake Cullen and again we saw nothing being done to deal with the activists. While activists are able to operate with impunity and without regard to public safety, why would hunters expose themselves to the risk?
Activist will claim this is a win for the environment and ducks, but they won’t mention the economic loss to the township of Kerang,
A small family group that hunted at Lake Cullen spent $300 in Kerang on supplies for the weekend, while activists lined up at the wood fired pizza tent they brought with them.
Hunter numbers were also reportedly down on wetlands where the Game Management Authority was present. Again, this is in no way an indication of the health and popularity of duck hunting in Victoria. The GMA’s own data demonstrates over time that in severely restricted seasons the number of duck hunting permits purchased will dip; but it always recovers when conditions and season settings return to full levels.
Victoria has a shortened 9 week season, and a bag limit reduced by 50 per cent. It is understandable that some hunters will weigh up whether they will get value for money given the limited opportunity.
The duck hunting culture in Victoria is stronger than ever despite the constant attacks, harassment and vilification. Animal Justice MP Andy Meddick will announce details of his bill to ban duck hunting, a push driven by an ideology that includes making all Victorians vegan.
Labor and the Liberal/Nationals Coalition have expressed support for ethical and sustainable hunting which is what Victoria’s duck hunters demonstrated on opening weekend. There is no reason to change.
Hunters are proud and actively sharing their stories from the weekend, of family, friendship, and fetching wild food for the camp, We are alive and kicking and to paraphrase Mark Twain “reports of our death are greatly exaggerated”.