DSE issues several duck hunting fines
20 March 2010
The Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) may issue court summonses to several duck hunters for early shooting, despite warnings of high penalties.
“So far eight hunters have been officially interviewed by DSE wildlife officers for early hunting and will potentially be issued with summonses to appear in court at a later date,” DSE Manager Wildlife Management Ron Waters said.
“Shooting too early can make it hard to identify birds and hunters could accidentally shoot protected species in dark conditions. Hunters shooting threatened species could be fined more than $28,000 and face imprisonment of up to two years,” Mr Waters said.
“The season in Victoria opened at 7.10am in the eastern zone, 7.20am in the central zone and 7.30am in the western zone.
“A further 11 infringement notices were issued to hunters for using lead shot and 12 protestors have received infringement notices for entering wetland sites before the time permitted under the Wildlife Act 1975.”
Two protestors have also been arrested for destroying duck hunting hides at Dowd’s Morass in Gippsland.
“Duck hunters are reminded that the use of lead shot is prohibited. Wildlife officers will continue to use shot testers during the entire season to check compliance.”
“Two hunters have also been interviewed and have had their fire arms seized for hunting without a game licence, which is a clear breach under the Act and can incur penalties of more than $1000.”
“Overall, DSE was satisfied with the behaviour of both hunters and protestors, however it was disappointing to see some people using toxic shot as well as instances of unlicensed hunting and early shooting, despite several warnings before the season opened.”
“It is important hunters observe opening times and the other restrictions, which are clearly outlined in the Hunting Guide.”
Wildlife officers will continue to monitor duck hunting over the opening weekend and throughout the season.
Protestors are also reminded it is illegal for persons without a Game Licence and Firearms Licence to enter within 5 metres of the waters of a regulated hunting area, including State Game Reserves.
“It is also an offence to obstruct hunters or approach them within 10 metres. This helps maintain a safe environment for all involved,” Mr Waters said.
For more information on your rights and obligations for duck hunting call 136 186.