SSAA Victoria has added its voice to the recommendation for a modified 2020 Duck Season to ensure a season goes ahead.
The recommendation was made to the Game Management Authority in a submission made jointly by Field and Game Australia and SSAA Victoria. It suggests the season be shortened by two weeks and the bag limit reduced from 10 to six ducks per hunter.
SSAA Victoria Hunting Development Manager David Laird said the recommendation acknowledges the drought conditions which are affecting water bird numbers in Victoria.
“We could go in boots and all and demand a full season, which is what we always want, but it’s just not realistic this year given the continuing low bird numbers counted in all the surveys we’ve seen,” he said.
“We want sustainable duck hunting in Victoria to make sure our kids can enjoy it as much as us, and then their kids. The way to do that is respect the science and work with the Government and authorities.
“Last year we were not satisfied with the rationale for a restricted season because there was no transparency on how the decision was made.
“We are still dissatisfied with the process, but this year we believe a full season is not in the best interests of sustainable hunting.”
Mr Laird said he understood the submission’s recommendations would not please everyone but hoped that SSAA Victoria’s members would see reason.
“It’s important to negotiate these issues in a reasonable manner because the Government is under pressure to cancel the season all together,” he said.
“If we were to go in with an all-or-nothing approach, we would lose the respect we’ve worked so hard to build at Government level and there would be no credible opposition to cancelling or banning duck hunting altogether.
“Facts are facts. Duck numbers and habitat have been affected by the drought and we respect the science which proves it.”
Since 1995 there have only been seven full duck seasons. It was cancelled four times and modified the remaining 14 times.
The Government will announce its final decision on the 2020 Duck Season in January.