2020 Duck Hunting Season
In late December 2019, after many calls by the SFFP for an unmodified Duck Season and repeatedly asking for the Government to declare the 2020 season, Victorian duck hunters found themselves still waiting for clarity on the upcoming season. The Game Management Authority had completed its submission period and all eyes were on 2 ministers to agree on a final declaration of the season.
Back in 2014 the Government enacted a regulation stipulating that 2 ministers had to sign off on the GMA recommendations for the season, being the minsters for the Environment and Agriculture. This year we saw the short sightedness of this decision, as a stalemate between these 2 ministers delayed a decision on the 2020 Duck season for over 3 months. Ultimately the Premier was required to settle the stalemate in late February, with the result being a dramatically shortened season and lower bag limit. This result was much more restrictive than the GMA recommendation had been and brings into question the method being used to make these decisions. It would appear the final season restrictions were more political in nature than scientific or evidence based.
The fallout of this uncertainty and the ultimate call for a modified season was a blow to the duck hunting community, the 4 week season and 3 bird bag limit was never supported by SFFP and we again called for an unmodified season solidifying our stance as the true political voice of Duck Hunters in Victoria.
In our public statement we said “Past studies have said recreational hunting has no impact on duck populations and the much lauded aerial survey has been exposed as a farce.
Year after year we see the legislated season tampered with, pandering to the anti’s demands for a total ban. We are fed up with waiting when SA and TAS have already declared their seasons and Victorian hunters who pay their fees IN FULL must wait.”
With the duck breeding ground of Lake Eyre full over summer and good rains falling in February and beyond, we believe there would have been a good case for an increased bag and even an extension of the season.
Whilst this season is done and dusted now, it shows how critical our role is in fighting for future season to endure a fair run for Victoria duck hunters in the future.