Victoria’s duck hunters are being encouraged to take their last opportunity over the long weekend to go duck hunting as the season draws to a close.
Agriculture and Food Security Minister Peter Walsh said while the 12 week 2012 duck hunting season had been generally quiet with large numbers of ducks flocking to flood conditions further north, there had been recent reports of birds returning to Victorian waters.
“Staff from Game Victoria have been receiving reports of good duck numbers returning to certain parts of Victoria, including north eastern and north western parts of the state,” Mr Walsh said.
“While the presence of ducks is still patchy, we are hearing that some hunters are achieving the maximum daily bag limit of 10 birds.
“The 2012 season ends on Monday 11 June half-an-hour after sunset, so now is the time to start making plans for one last trip to go duck hunting this year.”
Mr Walsh said there were 24,500 licensed Victoria duck hunters and, using average expenditure figures, it was estimated that duck hunters injected up to $58.7 million into regional economies in the lead up to and during the 2012 duck season.
Mr Walsh said 2,560 Waterfowl Identification Tests were conducted this year and the vast majority of those sitting the test were new people wishing to take up duck hunting. This was the largest number of tests ever conducted in a year.
“Duck hunting boosts regional Victorian economies through the purchase of equipment and supplies, such as vehicles, boats, firearms, ammunition and camping equipment, as well as supporting jobs in hospitality,” Mr Walsh said.
“This weekend is the last chance for the year for duck hunters to get out into regional Victoria and enjoy some time with their mates and their families.”
Hunters should check conditions before entering the field, particularly in Gippsland given the recent heavy rainfall and flash flooding, and also check the Victorian Hunting Guide 2012 before setting out.
For more information go to www.dpi.vic.gov.au