The Game Management Authority (GMA) is reminding all hunters to act responsibly and follow the new changes during the upcoming duck hunting season.
GMA chief executive officer Greg Hyams said all hunters who hold a Victorian game licence have received a letter in the mail from the GMA, outlining the 2018 season arrangements and details of the new regulation changes.
‘‘Under new regulations, hunters must stop shooting once a bird is downed and make all reasonable efforts to immediately recover it,’’ he said.
‘‘They are also required to at least salvage the breast meat from a duck to ensure that harvested game is not wasted. This is already standard practice for the majority of responsible hunters.
‘‘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.’’
Hunting commenced at 9am on Saturday and 8am on Sunday across the whole state as part of a trial of opening the season during daylight hours last weekend. 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 bag limit will remain at the standard 10 birds per person per day however hunting of the Blue-winged Shoveler will be prohibited due to persistent low numbers of the species.
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, phone 136186 or by contacting Crime Stoppers, phone 1800333000, or Victoria Police.
Details of the 2018 duck season in various languages and information about any wetland closures throughout the season are available on the GMA website.