Hunters allowed day trips under gradual easing of restrictions
The Victorian Government has announced that coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions will be gradually eased from 11.59pm on Tuesday, 12 May.
The new directions to be issued by the Chief Health Officer will allow people to leave their home to undertake outdoor recreational activities, including hunting. These activities can occur in groups of up to 10 people outside, while maintaining physical distancing of 1.5 metres between all participants. Camping and overnight stays are not permitted.
As always though, Victorians are being asked to be considered and use common sense when it comes to their activities. You should only leave home if you really need to. We are all being asked to make sacrifices in order to save lives.
The updated restrictions and a renewed State of Emergency will be in place until 11:59pm on Sunday, 31 May.
Hunting is permitted within the open season for Stubble Quail, deer (except Hog Deer), hunting Sambar Deer with hounds, and ducks. The Hog Deer season is now closed.
Hunters participating in the 2020 duck hunting season are reminded that the daily bag limit is three game ducks per person, per day. Start times will be delayed until 8:00am from Wednesday, 13 May through to Sunday, 17 May (inclusive); and the Blue-winged Shoveler is prohibited from hunting.
Four wetlands will also be subject to closure or other restrictions, to protect significant numbers of threatened species. Lake Lonsdale (near Stawell) will be closed to all duck hunting. Duck hunting from boats will be prohibited at Lake Bolac (at Lake Bolac) (boats may be used to recover downed ducks hunted from the shoreline). The western lake at Tower Hill State Game Reserve will be closed to hunting (the eastern lake will remain open) and Reedy Lake (part of the Lake Connewarre State Game Reserve) near Geelong will be closed to duck hunting but the rest of the reserve will remain open.
Duck hunters are also reminded they must make all reasonable efforts to retrieve downed ducks immediately and harvest at least the breast meat.
Authorised Officers are patrolling private properties and public land, including game reserves, wetlands and state forests, to ensure compliance with game hunting laws.
Illegal hunting and irresponsible behaviour will not be tolerated. Anyone caught doing the wrong thing risks significant fines, jail terms, loss of Game and Firearms licenses, and their firearms.
People are urged to report illegal hunting, such as poaching and breaches of public safety laws, to the GMA through its website at gma.vic.gov.au, the Customer Contact Centre on 136 186 or by contacting Victoria Police.
Hunting can only take place on public land where hunting is permitted.
For more information on hunting on public land visit www.gma.vic.gov.au/hunting/hunting-maps