’Don’t Wing It’ campaign helps ensure effective game bird hunting in NSW
An education and awareness initiative called ‘Don’t Wing It — be an effective game bird hunter’ was launched at this year’s successful New South Wales duck hunter information sessions held in Melbourne and Sydney.
The initiative has been developed by NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) in partnership with the Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia, NSW Police and a number of hunting organisations to better communicate key messages to hunters and private landholders taking part in DPI’S Native Game Bird Management Program.
DPI Game Licensing Unit (GLU) coordinator, wildlife management, Patrick O’brien, said the Don’t Wing It initiative builds on the very effective relationship many hunters have with landholders through the NSW Native Game Bird Management Program, which helps growers manage duck damage to their rice crops. “The Don’t Wing It campaign will help consolidate this successful wildlife management program, now in its fifth year, and further ensures people have access to the correct information to hunt legally, ethically, safely and responsibly,” he said.
Mr O’brien said the Don’t Wing It booklet and associated materials were the result of community and stakeholder consultation across the Riverina last year, including a focus group to discuss ideas and concepts for the development of this education initiative. “The campaign will help people understand the very important rules and regulations when it comes to hunting native ducks in NSW, as well as some tips for effectively protecting crops from duck damage,” he said. “In particular, people need to know that, unlike other Australian states, there is no recreational duck hunting season in NSW. Here, native game ducks may only be hunted under a mitigation program, and only for sustainable agricultural management purposes.” Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia president, Jeremy Morton, said the Don’t Wing It campaign was a great way to reach out to landholders and hunters and ensure they embraced the four pillars of the Native Game Bird Management program — to be legal, safe, responsible and ethical while hunting in NSW. “It’s a very important program and a great help to our growers, particularly as ducks can cause a lot of damage to our valuable crops each year,” he said.
This year’s hunter pre-season information sessions attracted 250 hunters for an outlook update on this year’s rice planting season, all of whom received a Don’t Wing It pack.
Hunters are reminded to ensure they renew their game hunting licence and adhere to all licence conditions, including submitting a harvest return after each hunt.
In response to feedback, the NSW DPI Game Licensing Unit has made submitting harvest returns easier for hunters with the introduction of a digital hunter diary, which allows hunters to record and submit their harvest returns directly from their mobile device.
For further information on the NSW Native Game Bird Management Program visit www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/hunting