Victoria's Stubble Quail hunting season is set to open to licensed game bird hunters tomorrow.
The Game Management Authority (GMA) Chief Executive Officer Greg Hyams is reminding all hunters to act responsibly and legally and ensure they follow the new changes during the 2018 quail hunting season.
"Stubble Quail are mostly hunted on private property and on 16 State Game Reserves that are also open to hunting," Mr Hyams said.
"If hunting on private property, make sure you have the owner's or the manager's permission first."
Mr Hyams said hunters are reminded of the new regulations to immediately recover downed game birds after they are shot and to salvage at least the breast meat from harvested birds.
"Under new regulations, hunters must stop shooting once a bird is downed and make all reasonable efforts to immediately recover it. They are also required to at least salvage the breast meat from a quail to ensure that harvested game is not wasted. This is already standard practice for the majority of responsible hunters," Mr Hyams said.
"There is no excuse for any hunter to be unfamiliar with these changes and hunters who fail to comply with these new rules will risk receiving significant fines, forfeiture of equipment and loss of Game and Firearms Licences."
"If anyone is unsure, I urge them to visit the GMA website www.gma.vic.gov.au, here they will find full details of what is required regarding the recovery of game birds and salvaging game bird meat."
Mr Hyams said hunters may come across non-game birds when hunting quail and reminded them to only take Stubble Quail.
"Make sure you positively identify your target as a Stubble Quail. Remember, if you're NOT SURE, DON'T SHOOT."
Mr Hyams noted that many hunters use gundogs to help locate Stubble Quail and a well-trained gundog can greatly increase the chance of recovering downed birds. He also reminded hunters to take care of their dogs while hunting.
"Given it is set to be a warm to hot start to the season across the state, hunters are reminded to be vigilant for signs of heat exhaustion. Only hunt in the cooler parts of the day just after dawn and prior to dusk, give your dog rest periods and make sure they have plenty of water to drink", Mr Hyams said.
The hunting of Stubble Quail is only permitted from half an hour before sunrise to half an hour after sunset during the open season and the bag limit is a maximum of 20 birds per day.
The open hunting season for Stubble Quail closes on Thursday 30 June 2018.
GMA Game Officers will be out and about this weekend so continue to act safely, responsibly and legally and enjoy your time in the field.
Hunters and the 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.