Quiet beginning to duck season

WHILE duck and hunter numbers alike were down locally this year, the 2012 duck season opening on Saturday was described as “excellent.”

With only one penalty notice issued locally to a hunter using lead shot at Lake Kakydra near Sale, the Department of Primary Industry’s Senior Game Officer Anthony Ball praised the behaviour of hunters across Wellington Shire.

“Unfortunately, duck numbers were down a bit this year, as more itinerant species headed north to more flooded areas,” he explained.

“Hunter numbers were also down a bit locally, and that’s been attributed to the torrential rain we’ve had recently.

“It’s made access to some areas very challenging.

“However, the weather on Saturday morning was spectacular, and all the hunters we encountered were not only doing the right thing but also having a great time.”

Statewide, hunters were also praised, with only seven offences detected on Saturday morning.

Game Victoria Executive Director, Anthony Hurst, said an estimated 17,000 of Victoria’s 26,000 licensed duck hunters took to wetlands.

“One hundred and sixty one police and government agency staff were today operating at 25 major wetlands across Victoria and there had been very few reports of offences to date,” he said.

“I would like to commend the efforts of the vast majority of hunters who did the right thing and acted safely, responsibly and in accordance with the law.”