2021 Duck season arrangements
Please note that wetlands, or parts of wetlands, may be closed to hunting, or only permit restricted hunting activity. For details visit Wetland closures – 2021 duck season.
The Victorian Government announced the following arrangements for the 2021 duck hunting season.
Please regularly check the Department of Health and Human Service’s webpage for updates on the latest public health advice.
Season length (modified)
Season open – 8am on Wednesday 26 May 2021
Season close – 30 minutes after sunset on Monday 14 June 2021.
Bag limits (modified)
Daily bag limit of two game ducks per day for the entire season.
Hunting the Blue-winged Shoveler is prohibited for the entire season and no Chestnut Teal or Grey Teal can be hunted north of the Princes Highway / Freeway. Please see map below.
Start times (modified)
Start times are delayed until 8:00am from Wednesday 26 May through to Sunday 30 May, inclusive.
Hunting must cease half an hour after sunset on each day.
Rest of season hunting times
For the rest of the season, hunting times start half an hour before sunrise and end half an hour after sunset.
Game duck species permitted to be taken (modified)
Seven of the eight species of game duck are permitted to be hunted during the 2021 season. Species permitted include Pacific Black Duck, Mountain Duck, Chestnut Teal (south of the Princes Highway / Freeway only), Grey Teal (south of the Princes Highway / Freeway only), Pink-eared Duck, Wood Duck and Hardhead.
The Blue-winged Shoveler cannot be hunted during the 2021 season due to continued low numbers.
The Chestnut Teal and Grey Teal must not be hunted north of the Princes Highway / Freeway in 2021. Please see map below.
Retrieval of downed game ducks
Regulations require hunters to immediately retrieve all downed game ducks and to salvage at least the breast meat from all harvested ducks.
All other hunting arrangements remain unchanged.
Only non-toxic shot can be used to hunt ducks anywhere in Victoria.
Hunters are reminded to review our information to ensure accurate identification of waterfowl, humane dispatch methods and responsible hunting techniques.
Please monitor the GMA website before and during the season to see if wetlands have been closed to hunting.
Hunters are reminded to hunt responsibly at all times.
2021 duck season - FAQs for hunters
The 2021 duck season has been modified based on analysis of habitat availability and waterbird surveys conducted across eastern Australia and other data relating to game duck abundance and breeding, habitat distribution and climate.
The reduction of the bag limit will reduce the overall harvest of game ducks and protect the population from overharvesting during a period of low abundance as a result of poor environmental conditions.
The hunting start time is delayed until 8am from Wednesday 26 May to Sunday 30 May, inclusive.
The later start times help improve bird identification, recovery of downed ducks and enforcement of the hunting laws.
The later start times are only in place for the first five days because the start of the season is typically the period when more hunters are out in the field.
Protestors are also more active at the start of the season and the later start times may help to diffuse any conflict between hunters and protestors. Fewer compliance issues are experienced during the remainder of the season when hunter densities are lower.
For the 2021 duck season, hunting Grey Teal is permitted south of the Princes Highway / Freeway. Hunters must ensure that they comply with the set daily two-bird bag limit.
Hunting Grey Teal and Chestnut Teal species north of the Princes Highway / Freeway has been prohibited for the 2021 season.
Anyone found illegally shooting teal species north of the Princes Highway / Freeway can be fined or prosecuted, have equipment such as vehicles and firearms seized and / or lose their Game and Firearms Licences.
Chestnut Teal are most commonly found in coastal wetlands south of the Princes Highway / Freeway, where they are permitted to be hunted. Given the Grey Teal and the female Chestnut Teal are almost identical in appearance, both teal species cannot be hunted north of the Princes Highway / Freeway.
It will also be easier for hunters to orient themselves in relation to the Princes Highway / Freeway in ensuring compliance with the regulations.
Hunting Grey Teal or Chestnut Teal is permitted on private property that is located south of the Princes Highway / Freeway. Hunters must have permission from the landowner / manager to hunt on private property.
No. The Blue-winged Shoveler has been prohibited from hunting in 2021 due to continuing low abundance.
If you suspect that someone is acting illegally do not approach them, move well away and please report suspected offences - Report illegal hunting online or call 136 186, or contact Victoria Police.
Please regularly check the Department of Health and Human Service’s webpage for updates on restrictions.
Licensed hunters can download the More to Explore app for maps of public lands that are open to duck hunting. Go to More to Explore.
From time to time, wetlands may be closed to hunting to protect rare or threatened species. Hunters are encouraged to check the GMA website each time before they go hunting to check for any wetland closures or whether further regulations have been imposed.
Yes, however on waterways (such as a rivers, creeks and streams), ducks can only be hunted from a boat under power up to a speed of five knots.
On open waters (such as lakes or swamps), hunters are not permitted to hunt ducks from a motorboat if the motor is running, whether in gear or not.
Game hunting laws apply to both private and public land. GMA Authorised Officers can access and enforce laws on private land tenures.
If you down a game bird then you must stop hunting and make all reasonable efforts to immediately retrieve that bird either on foot, in a boat or by sending a gundog to retrieve the bird, unless it’s unsafe to make the recovery. If the bird is alive once recovered, you must immediately dispatch (i.e. kill) that bird.
Please see the Guidelines for the humane dispatch of downed ducks.
Hunters are permitted to keep the whole bird or, at a minimum, keep the meat of both breasts of the bird in your possession until immediately prior to cooking or until the bird has been taken to your place of residence.
A fully-feathered wing must remain attached to the bird or its breast meat.
Part 5 of the Wildlife (Game) Regulations 2012 sets out the provisions regarding the possession and use of game. View the Wildlife (Game) Regulations 2012.
Yes, however you must retain at least one fully-feathered wing attached to the duck or duck breasts. If you remove the breasts separately, then a fully feathered wing must be attached to each breast.
All duck hunters who held a current Game Licence in 2020 had their licences extended, free of charge, for one year because of limited hunting opportunities due to the public health advice at the time.
In 2021, there will be opportunities for hunters to hunt duck across the state allowing hunters to utilise their extended licence.
As the licence extension was provided free of charge, refunds cannot be paid.