Reminder to act responsibly during the 2019 duck hunting season

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

The Game Management Authority is reminding everyone involved in the 2019 duck season to act safely, responsibly and legally.

Game Management Authority (GMA) CEO Graeme Ford said all hunters need to be aware of the laws including the new regulations introduced last year.

“Hunters are reminded that the daily bag limit is four game ducks per person on the opening weekend, with a five game duck per day bag limit for the remainder of the nine week season.

“A number of wetlands across the state have been closed or further regulated to protect or prevent disturbance to significant numbers of threatened birds and the hunting of the Blue-winged Shoveler will be prohibited,” Mr Ford said.

“As per last year, hunting on the opening weekend of the 2019 season will commence at 9.00 am on Saturday and 8.00 am on Sunday across the whole of Victoria as part of a two-year trial to ensure an orderly start to the season.”

“For the rest of the season, hunting times will revert to the standard period of half an hour before sunrise to half an hour after sunset. The season closes half an hour after sunset on Sunday 19 May.”

“Hunters are also reminded they are required to immediately retrieve any ducks they shoot and ensure they harvest at least the breast meat from the duck to ensure that harvested game is not wasted. This is already standard practice for the majority of responsible hunters."

Mr Ford said the GMA will be teaming up with partner enforcement agencies, including Victoria Police, to target the minority of hunters that don't do the right thing.

“Anyone caught doing the wrong thing risks fines of up to $38,000, jail terms, loss of Game and Firearms licenses, and their firearms,” Mr Ford said

More information on these regulations can be found here: https://bit.ly/2FqThc0

Mr Ford is also reminding protestors to ensure they act in a safe and responsible manner.

“While those who oppose duck hunting have a right to protest, they must do so safely and legally. There are significant penalties should protestors unlawfully enter in, or remain on a specified hunting area, or interfere with or harass hunters,” Mr Ford said.

"Public safety laws are in place to protect the broader community, hunters, authorised officers and protestors themselves."

"Offenders that unlawfully enter in, or remain on a specified hunting area can receive a maximum penalty of about $9,500 and be issued with a banning notice. Magistrates can further impose exclusion orders. Penalties of up to $19,000 apply for breaching these notices and orders."

GMA Game Officers, Victoria Police and other authorised officers from DELWP, DJPR, Victorian Fisheries Authority and Parks Victoria will be patrolling wetlands across the state during the duck season to ensure everyone involved acts in a safe and responsible manner.

Hunters and the general public are urged to report any illegal hunting to the GMA through its website www.gma.vic.gov.au or the Customer Service Centre on 136 186 or by contacting Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, or Victoria Police.

Details of the 2019 duck season, including fact sheets in various languages and information about any wetland closures throughout the season, are available on the GMA website.