Duck hunting in State Game Reserves
Friday 15 March, 2013
The 2013 duck hunting season opens on Saturday 16 March 2013 and closes on Monday 10 June 2013. During the season many hunters will hunt in one of the 181 State Game Reserves (SGR’s) managed by Parks Victoria. For details on the location of these popular hunting spots visit the Department of Primary Industries website at www.dpi.vic.gov.au/game-hunting/game/australian-water-fowl/?a=125143
Good seasonal conditions from 2010 to 2012 have resulted in widespread flooding in eastern Australia and revitalisation of many wetlands that have been dry over the previous decade.
Information on conditions and access into State Game Reserves is available here.
Hunters are reminded that very dry and warm conditions have persisted throughout the first quarter of 2013 and the fire danger at this time of year is higher than normal. If your hunting involves camping at a State Game Reserve ensure that you adhere to the following conditions.
Drive your vehicle (including motor and trail bikes) only on roads that are open to the public, avoid using muddy tracks and remove fallen trees rather than driving around them. Drivers and riders must be fully licensed and vehicles fully road registered before you can use them on public land in Victoria.
Care of the environment
Quality habitat is the key to healthy populations of game and other wildlife and hunters have often led the way in protecting and restoring habitat. Hunters should be aware of the following:
- Set up camp at least 20 metres away from rivers or waterbodies.
- Dead trees, hollow logs and fallen timber provide shelter and nest sites for many native mammals, birds and reptiles. Be mindful of this when collecting firewood and whenever possible, bring your own from home. Never cut down trees or shrubs (alive or dead) for use as firewood.
- Be careful that your fuel or rubbish does not pollute streams and swamps. Clean up litter and waste and take it home with you. This includes spent shotgun cartridges that you should not leave in or around wetlands.
- If you clean your ducks at an SGR ensure that you don’t leave feathers, entrails and carcasses around to attract flies, predators and spoil the amenity for others.
- Do not use fallen trees for firewood that are visibly hollow or growing moss or fungi.
Campfires are part of the outdoors experience. Some restrictions apply to the use of campfires and all hunters should be aware of these to ensure that they use fires in accordance with the relevant regulations and minimise the possibility of starting a bushfire. Parks Victoria reminds hunters to exercise caution with campfires, particularly after the recent dry weather. When having a campfire people should:
- Check restrictions for the area – campfires are not allowed in some areas of public land and are prohibited on a Total Fire Ban day.
- Always use a purpose built fireplace where provided.
- If there are no restrictions on campfires and in the absence of a fireplace, campfires should be lit in a 30 centimetre trench, with an area of three metre radius cleared of vegetation and other flammable materials.
- Take care on dry, windy days – if the wind is strong enough to carry sparks, don’t light a campfire.
- Never leave a campfire unattended.
- Keep your campfire just big enough for cooking and keeping warm.
- Put your fire out properly using water, not soil, even if you are going for a short walk or swim.
- If your campfire is cool to touch it is safe to leave.
- Comply with any direction of any Authorised Officer (such as Rangers, Wildlife Officers, Game Officers) in relation to hunting or camping.
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