Video all interaction with anti-duck hunting activists is the key message for hunters as duck season comes to an end half an hour after sunset on Sunday, May 19.
This weekend is the last opportunity for the year for our duck hunters to get out and enjoy a social gathering, celebrate their hunting traditions and ensure they have a few ducks in the freezer to see them through until next season.
Hunters are warned that protester activity is anticipated in some areas, with Lake Connewarre expected to be a focus, but video evidence is a powerful tool against their lies and exaggerations.
“An activist made serious allegations in relation to being struck by a vehicle driven by a duck hunter this season,” said SSAA Victoria Hunting Development Manager David Laird.
“It is fortunate the hunter in question had dash-cam footage that clearly showed what had happened.
“Victoria Police investigations into the incident are ongoing, but the damning allegations of the activist and her colleagues were clearly exposed as lies by the dash-cam footage.”
Mr Laird said the activists have struggled for traction this season as hunter behaviour has been good across the state. They will be looking for any last-minute controversy or conflict that they can generate to further their radical agenda.
He attended a meeting at Connewarre recently with representatives from Field and Game Australia, Australian Deer Association, Game Management Authority and local police to discuss protester activity in the area.
The advice given by police is for hunters to:
- video record any interactions with activists,
- remain polite and calm, and
- obey the law.
“Remember that your actions reflect on all duck hunters and the cultural activity of duck hunting itself,” Mr Laird said.
“Activists will attempt to provoke a reaction and then use edited footage to portray duck hunters as aggressive and dangerous.
“Do not get sucked in by them. They are extremists and some of them will go to any lengths to further their agenda.
“Footage taken by hunters that shows activist behaviour can be used to put interactions into perspective.”
Hunters have the right to go about their lawful activity without hinderance by activists. If activists are blocking your way in public areas, such as boat ramps or roadways, record the interaction and politely ask them to move. If they continue to obstruct you then call the police.
If activists approach you or hinder your hunt on a wetland, again, record the interaction. Such video should then be referred to police or GMA. Hunters should be prepared to make a statement and explain how the activist hindered their hunt.
It is recommended that any members who face harassment, intimidation or hinderance from activists before, during or after their hunt contact Mr Laird on 8892 2777 to discuss the matter. SSAA Victoria will help refer the matter to the correct agency for investigation.
“Hunters just want to be able to go about their hunting without interference,” Mr Laird said.
“They don’t want to have to record interactions and waste good hunting time dealing with extremist activists. Unfortunately, it is becoming a necessity in situations where activists confront hunters.
“If you are faced with activist interference the advice is to take one for the team. Be prepared to sacrifice your immediate hunt to be able to provide information that might lead to a conviction against these people.
“Take heart in the fact that while these idiots might be wrecking your day, the evidence you gather may well wreck theirs down the track.
“Also take heart in the fact that while they are disrupting you, other hunters are able to hunt unhindered.
“Hunters are held to account for their actions. It is about time these extremist activists were as well.”
Enjoy the last weekend of the season.