When to hunt
Australia routinely experiences variable climatic and environmental conditions. This sees much of the country undergo flood or drying conditions.
Game duck species respond quickly to environmental conditions which will see their populations boom during good climate and breeding conditions and then wane during average conditions.
When conditions permit, the Victorian duck season is conducted from the beginning of the third Saturday in March until 30 minutes after sunset on the second Monday in June.
The duck open season is timed to occur when the population is at its maximum and to avoid periods of vulnerability. The close season is timed to prevent hunting during times of peak reproductive activity, impaired flying ability during moulting, and temperature extremes, low population levels and food shortage.
Waterfowl in eastern Australia display a regular breeding peak in late winter and spring (August - November), with some breeding commencing as early as June and extending as late as January. Following breeding, chicks must be given the opportunity to mature to the point where they are self-sufficient and strong in flight. For adult birds, moulting occurs soon after breeding, with large flocks of moulting birds often observed in February each year. During late winter, population levels are at their lowest and ducks are subject to environmental extremes and food shortages and preliminary breeding activity may occur.