When to Hunt Duck
Victoria has emerged from a long-term drought.
Highly favourable environmental conditions have seen huge increases in waterbird breeding and available habitat. These factors support the return to a normal season.
The duck open season is timed to occur when the population is at its maximum and to avoid periods of vulnerability. The close season is timed to prevent hunting during times of peak reproductive activity, impaired flying ability during moulting, and temperature extremes, low population levels and food shortage.
Waterfowl in eastern Australia display a regular breeding peak in late winter and spring (August - November), with some breeding commencing as early as June and extending as late as January. Following breeding, chicks must be given the opportunity to mature to the point where they are self-sufficient and strong in flight. For adult birds, moulting occurs soon after breeding, with large flocks of moulting birds often observed in February each year. During late winter, population levels are at their lowest and ducks are subject to environmental extremes and food shortages and preliminary breeding activity may occur.