Duck hunt season divides readers as part of Tower Hill closed to hunting this season

In the sights: Ducks at Tower Hill State Game Reserve...half of the area will be closed to hunters because of a significant number of blue-billed ducks. Picture: Christine Ansorge
In the sights: Ducks at Tower Hill State Game Reserve...half of the area will be closed to hunters because of a significant number of blue-billed ducks. Picture: Christine Ansorge

Half of Tower Hill will be closed to duck hunting this season due to a significant number of blue-billed ducks in the reserve.

The season is set to begin this weekend, with Tower Hill only open to hunting outside the hours of 9am to 5pm.

The Game Management Authority (GMA) announced the western half of the state game reserve would be closed while the eastern part would remain open.

Blue-billed ducks are listed as an endangered species in Victoria.

GMA chief executive officer Greg Hyams said the move was to protect threatened species.

“Through closing wetlands where appropriate and paying close attention to bird numbers we are able to ensure that rare and threatened species are protected,” he said.

“This year, we will have significant numbers of staff on the ground.

“Government officials will monitor the closed wetlands throughout the season.”

Hunting from boats will also be banned at Lake Bolac due to a high number of blue-billed ducks in the area.

A Standard poll asking readers whether they supported duck hunting attracted more than 1300 votes, with a divided response.

A majority – 58 per cent voted yes – while  42 per cent said they did not support duck hunting.

Reader Jeff Moss said Tower Hill was a “beautiful reserve with lots of native animals”.

“Guns echoing through the reserve, fired by uncontrolled guys wanting to be macho in front if the other ‘men’,” Mr Moss wrote.

“How many accidents will occur and how many native animals injured because something moved in the bush?”

Another reader, Viv Corboy, said feral cats and wild dogs would have a much greater impact on ducks and other native animals than hunters, and hunting should be focused on feral animals.

NOTE: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated Tower Hill was open to hunting between 9am and 5pm, not outside those hours.

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