• Loddon Herald

Extend season call

DUCK hunters want the trun-cated 2021 season extended wikth COVID Lockdown 4.0 kicking in just two days after the season’s opening.

Tandarra’s Dan Straub, who is president of Victorian Duck Hunting Association, said most hunters had lost a third of the season, without an extension to lockdown.

Mr Straub said last week’s opening had given the Loddon an economic injection with hunters from Melbourne and Bendigo joining locals shooting on approved public water areas and with permission on private property.

But he said with the three-week season effectively reduced, Agriculture Minister Mary-Anne Thomas had been asked to move the closing date out from June 14 to later in the month or even into July.

“As a minimum, we want to reclaim the lockdown days,” Mr Straub said,

“We feel there is the scope to extend the season until the end of June ... even into July. We’re waiting to hear what the minister says.”

Mr Straub said the opening had been “a busy day”.

“Because of the Wednesday mid-week opening, we weren’t expecting as many as actually took time off work to hunt on local wetlands and private property,” he said.

“The season’s opening brought people into the Loddon - to Dingee, to Boort and along the Loddon River between Bridgewater and Serprentine and along the Serepentine Creek at Durham Ox.

“They spent money at local roadhouses and bakeries.

“Lake Leaghur, where there had been a fresh influx of water, shot well and it was great to see many camping in these areas when a few of us travelled around on Wednesday afternoon. I also had reports of groups at Laanecoorie. People took the opportunity to come to this region.”

Mr Straub said some rural duckhunters had been able to continue with the season, recreational shooting classified as a recreational activity under the COVID 5km travel from home rule.

“But that is a really a restraint and limits most people from participating in the season so far.”

Mr Straub said good shooting was reported across the Loddon on opening day and there been no reports of protesters.

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