Hunting traditions and culture
By DAN STRAUB
DUCK hunters in Victoria are constantly made to feel like second class citizen’s.
We are verbally abused, discriminated against and talked down to.
This behaviour does not just come from extreme animal activist protesters, this behaviour is imposed on us by the vast majority of the current Victorian Labor Government, along with extreme left political parties such as the Animal Justice Party and the Greens.
Never have I seen such disregard in modern times against a group of Australian men, women and children, for going about their lives and continuing their culture and traditions that have shaped and sustained our human existence, (Hunting).
As a duck hunter now in my late 30s, I look back and reflect on the continued efforts of past and present hunters to maintain a sustainable future for all.
If it was not for the decisions of our duck hunting community in the late 1950s to self impose a hunting/game license structure to generate funds that would buy and maintain what we now know as our 199 state game reserves, covering 60,000 hectares, the majority of these pristine habitats and the water birds that inhabit them would have been lost to infrastructure and water diversion.
We are constantly told by anti-
hunting groups that game bird species are declining due to hunting practices, this cannot be further from the truth.
University of New South Wales Professor Richard Kingsford conducts the Eastern Australian waterbird survey each year and has previously stated, and I quote: “All scientific studies indicate that hunting has no effect on waterfowl populations “
Duck populations move and migrate, following freshwater and food, this sees mobs of native ducks disappear and appear overnight.
From my own personal experience surveying our water availability and game-bird numbers in late December of 2020, in preparation for the Duck Hunting submission process,
I counted and documented thousands of game-birds across an area from Kerang to Koondrook to Cohuna to Dingee.
Further to this, a survey conducted by the Victorian Duck Hunting Association shows there is between 315,000 and 1,898,000 game-birds estimated on dams across Victoria unaccounted for in any decision making process to determine any one season.
(Environment, Land, Water and Planning Victoria shows data of there being 450,000 dams equating to a storage capacity of around 3,400,000 mega litres of water.)
The VDHA survey found an average of 70 per cent of dams hold water at any one time, with a conservative estimated figure of a minimum of one game-bird per dam = 315,000 to an average of 6 game-birds per dam = 1,898,000.
This strengthens the fact of native game-bird abundance in Victoria, and discredits the unjustified announcement from the Victorian Agricultural Minister last Saturday of a 20-day two- duck bag limit starting Wednesday May 26 through to June 14 2021.
In closing, it has to be said that not just our 26,000 strong duck hunting community has been constantly let down by the Victorian Labor Government sanctioned, death by one thousand lashes approach, to deterring hunters participation.
Leaving tens of thousands of people emotionally and physically drained after months of anticipation, planning, preparing and training, to be handed a slap in the face by our governing body and their activist mates.
Rural and regional Victoria will also suffer again at the hands of the Andrew’s Labor Government and his ministers.
After the biggest lockdowns in Victorian history, small country towns and communities need this boost from duck hunting tourism and will now miss out.
In 2019, duck and quail hunters generated a whopping $87 million into our local economy.
Our hunting way of life is under attack from vast groups of people, whom do not and are not willing too understand our lifestyle choices.
Why are we treated so differently to any other community group of people?
Dan Straub is president of the
Victorian Duck Hunting Association and lives at Tandarra.