Improved habitat, improved hunting

Hunters keen to bag a duck from nature’s supermarket were out in their thousands this morning, taking advantage of the increased habitat and game bird breeding.

This weekend’s opening is the third for the year, with South Australia’s duck season commencing four weeks ago, and Tasmania’s season opening last weekend.

Field & Game Australia Chairman, Rob Treble, said the season was off to a good start, but hunters were disappointed with others shooting early.

Many hunters travel to scout out hunting spots in the weeks leading up to opening weekend, while others set up camp earlier this week to enjoy the experience and the hunting of wild food with friends and family.

“The season is something hunters look forward to all year, and it’s disappointing that some individuals have no respect for the legal start times,” Mr Treble said.

Field & Game Australia’s General Manager, David McNabb, said that the improved conditions for birds, and hunters, clearly demonstrated the value of well-managed and maintained habitat.

“It’s a good year for wetlands, we’ve seen great breeding events and a lot more habitat across Victoria and Australia, which means higher abundance of feeding and breeding sites for our game birds and other waterfowl.”

Field & Game Australia’s origins are linked with the creation of Victoria’s State Game Reserve system, with hunters in the late 1950s forming the Association to lobby government to conserve wetland habitats. 60 years later, loss of habitat remains the number one pressure on our waterbird populations.

Field & Game Australia continues to lobby for improved wetland habitat management and conservation, and delivers practical outcomes for wetland habitats through nest box programs, predator control, waterway maintenance and other hands-on efforts, performed by its volunteer members.

Mr McNabb said “the idea of sustainable use seems modern, but the hunters in the late 50s identified the importance of habitat, and Field & Game Australia continues that commitment today.”

“Conservation and habitat management is an integral part of responsible hunting.”