’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.

Field and Game - - GUN DOGS -

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

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