2014 Duck Hunting Season
The 2014 duck hunting season will open on Saturday 15 March at 7.10am in the eastern zone, 7.20am in the central zone and 7.30am in the western zone, and close half an hour after sunset on Monday 9 June.
Media release from Minister Walsh: Full duck hunting season announced for 2014.
The 2014 season will have the same bag limit and restrictions as the 2013 season.
2014 Duck Hunting Season
The 2014 duck hunting season opens on Saturday 15 March and closes on Monday 9 June 2014.
A hunter may take a maximum of ten (10) game ducks, which may include no more than two (2) Australasian (Blue-winged) Shovelers, on each day during the open season.
Victoria's game ducks are Pacific Black Duck, Mountain Duck, Blue-winged Shoveler, Chestnut Teal, Grey Teal, Pink-eared Duck, Wood Duck and Hardhead.
Opening times - opening morning
On opening morning (15 March 2014), Victoria will be divided into three zones (see map below), each with different opening times.
The season will open at:
- 7:10 am in the eastern zone
- 7:20 am in the central zone
- 7:30 am in the western zone
Opening times - rest of the season
For the remainder of the season, duck hunting is permitted from half an hour before sunrise to half an hour after sunset See the 2014 Victorian Hunting Guide for details on how to calculate this or the free Game Hunting Victoria App which can be downloaded from the iTunes Store or Google Play. The App automatically calculates hunting start and end times for every day of the season and according to where you are or intend to hunt.
Where can I hunt ducks?
Duck hunting is permitted throughout the state in state forests, unoccupied Crown Land and State Game Reserves. Hunting is also permitted on leased Crown Land, licensed Crown Land or private land with permission of the leaseholder, licensee or land owner/manager respectively.
There are only three parks (Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park, Cape Conran Coastal Park and Lake Albacutya Park) where duck hunting is allowed in designated areas.
Wetlands may be closed to hunting at certain times to protect concentrations of rare or threatened species or colonies of breeding waterbirds. Hunters should contact their local DEPI Office or look for the latest information on the DEPI website.
Make sure you have your licences
All hunters, including juniors (12-17 years), must hold a valid Game Licence endorsed to hunt duck. People less than
12 years old are not permitted to use a firearm to hunt or
When hunting duck, you must:
- carry your current Game Licence endorsed for duck
- carry your current Firearms Licence.
To obtain a Game Licence endorsed for duck, a hunter must first pass a Waterfowl Identification Test (WIT). A one-off Provisional Game Licence is available for juniors (12-17yrs.) which allows them to hunt for duck without having to sit the WIT as long as they have a Firearms Licence and are under the direct supervision of a fully licenced adult duck hunter.
Non-residents of Australia can also obtain non-resident Game Licence which allows them to hunt duck without having to sit the WIT as long as they have the relevant Firearms Licence and are under the direct supervision of a fully licenced adult duck hunter.
No shooting of non-game species
Non-game species are occasionally shot when mistakenly identified, or when flying among game birds. To avoid shooting non-game species, hunters must:
- identify the target as a game species
- make sure the bird is within effective shooting skills range
- single out a bird and do not fire into flocks (this may injure other birds including non-game species).
Unless you are dispatching a downed bird, do not fire at birds on the water, as ricocheting shot could injure non-game birds or other hunters. If it is necessary to dispatch injured birds on the water, you should first make sure your line of fire is clear.
Hunters should also be alert for Freckled Duck (appearance in flight is similar to Black Duck) as there is a total ban on the take of this threatened species.
Compliance with game laws
There are heavy penalties if you breach the law, which may include losing your Game and Firearms Licences and/or your firearm or other hunting equipment. Make sure you obey the laws that are in place to protect you and the game that you hunt.
Improve your chances
To improve your chances of bringing birds home and reducing the risk of wounding, practise the following:
- Pattern test your gun to ensure you are using the correct choke and shotshell combination to take the birds you are hunting (see Tom Roster's Lethality Table in the 2014 Victorian Hunting Guide)
- Only shoot at birds within your shooting skills distance (for most hunters this is within 30 metres).
- Don't hunt in areas where it is difficult to recover downed birds
- Make sure you practice regularly to improve and maintain your shooting skills.
Important regulations to remember
Hunting on private and public land
Game laws apply to both private and public land. Authorised Officers will enforce the game laws on all land classifications.
The use of lead shot for duck hunting is prohibited throughout Victoria. This includes duck hunting on all wetlands, waterways and dry lands on public and private land (there are some exemptions). Authorised Officers actively test hunters' shotgun ammunition during the season.
It is illegal to high-grade your ducks
High-grading involves reaching your bag limit then discarding or giving away ducks in order to take more ducks than the set bag limit. Hunters do this when they want to take a more preferred species or when they share their bag with someone else. You are only allowed to take the daily bag limit.
Retaining a fully-feathered wing
To ensure Authorised Officers can quickly and accurately identify all waterfowl in your possession, you must leave a fully-feathered wing on any harvested duck until immediately prior to cooking or the duck has been taken to your ordinary place of residence.
Hunting from a boat
On waterways (such as rivers, creeks, streams and channels), you are allowed to hunt duck from a boat under power, up to a speed of five knots. On open waters (such as lakes or swamps), you are not permitted to hunt duck from a motor boat if the motor is running, whether in gear or not.
Report illegal hunting. Call 136 186.
Don't tolerate suspected illegal behaviour. It could threaten the future of hunting. Report any suspected illegal hunting activity and protect your recreation. All information will be treated in strict confidence. Helpful information includes:
- Time and date of activity
- Number and description of people involved
- Vehicle registration and description
Where do I get more information?
For more detailed information about game hunting, refer to the 2014 Victorian Hunting Guide which will be mailed to all licensed game hunters, visit DEPI's website www.depi.vic.gov.au/fishing-and-hunting or download the free Game Hunting Victoria App.
- DEPI Customer Service Centre: 136 186
- email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- DEPI Game Victoria: 9658 4310
- Parks Victoria: 13 19 63, website: www.parkweb.vic.gov.au