From the Ed­i­tor

A few weeks into the 2018 Duck Sea­son in Vic­to­ria, Field & Game Aus­tralia board mem­ber Peter Hawker called to re­mark on how quiet it was.

Field and Game - - FROM THE EDITOR -

By quiet, he meant the lack of pub­lic, and es­pe­cially, me­dia com­men­tary and de­bate on duck hunt­ing. Hun­ters had en­joyed a dif­fer­ent but un­event­ful open­ing and were con­tin­u­ing to en­joy their pas­sion with­out the usual noise and an­guish.

Peter is right, it has been quiet and with good rea­son. Hun­ters, through their ac­tions, sucked the oxy­gen out of the duck hunt­ing de­bate.

The crit­ics were still there, the fra­ter­nity who op­pose the very con­cept of tak­ing a wild duck, no mat­ter how ef­fi­ciently and hu­manely it is done and how well the meat is utilised, but the fact is, most of the pop­u­la­tion don’t give it a sec­ond thought.

The me­dia, where pop­ulism reigns supreme, turn quickly to is­sues they hope will in­ter­est their read­ers, view­ers and lis­ten­ers.

On open­ing week­end, the peak for so-called duck res­cuers, it was amus­ing to watch them creep­ing along the shore­line in small flocks. Binoc­u­lars raised, whis­tles at the ready, flags on poles poised and the res­cu­ing net ev­ery ready; there they stood, and stood and stood.

There was noth­ing to res­cue, no op­por­tu­nity to make a scene or gather up game birds for later dis­play on the steps of Par­lia­ment.

There is a lit­tle irony in the fact that in or­der to have ducks to save, the res­cuers need hun­ters to hunt, and that didn’t hap­pen for many be­cause enough pro­test­ers broke the rules and stood in front of de­coy spreads ward­ing off ducks with a whis­tle and a wav­ing flag.

I spoke to one large group who knew they would not get a shot off on open­ing morn­ing but were not at all fussed. They had gath­ered from parts far and wide, as they tra­di­tion­ally do, and were happy to en­joy the camp­ing and com­pany. They would get a hunt when the cir­cus moved on.

This group, and ev­ery one of the many duck camps I vis­ited, had the same de­ter­mi­na­tion to hunt if they could and pro­vide no am­mu­ni­tion to the anti-hunt­ing lobby.

They were per­fect am­bas­sadors for hunt­ing, as were hun­ters across the state.

Greater en­force­ment was wel­comed; ed­u­ca­tion was two-way with hun­ters in­vited to pro­vide feed­back on the later start times and new re­triev­ing reg­u­la­tion.

Hun­ters were un­der in­tense scru­tiny, the re­sponse was clear and un­equiv­o­cal, and the noise evap­o­rated.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.