VICTORIA will have a full 12 week duck-hunting season this year.
However, the Coalition Against Duck Shooting says it will take extra steps this year to put an end to shooting.
- JOIN THE CONVERSATION
- Should duck hunting be banned? Vote in our poll
- Have Your Say in the form below
Mr Walsh said above-average rainfall between 2010 and 2012 had significantly increased game duck numbers throughout eastern Australia.
The 2013 duck hunting season will open on Saturday 16 March at 7.10am in the eastern zone, 7.20am in the central zone and 7.30am in the western zone, and close half an hour after sunset on Monday 10 June.
“Game duck numbers are at their fourth highest level in 30 years,” Mr Walsh said.
“The Victorian Coalition Government recognises that game hunting is a popular recreational activity in Victoria, with about 43,000 people licensed to hunt game.“
However, Coalition Against Duck Shooting campaign director Laurie Levy said the group had raised $10,000 to give to the RSPCA to fund undercover inspectors.
"Duck hunting is cruel and we've found no cases where hunters have been prosecuted for cruelty," Mr Levy said
"We've been talking to lawyers and we want to give the $10,000 to the RSPCA for undercover inspectors to be out on the wetlands to look for cruelty."
Mr Levy said the CADS had not raised the issue with the RSPCA yet.
He said the CADS was expecting a quiet season due to declining numbers of shooters and wetlands drying up.
"We think because of the high temperatures that by the middle of March the wetlands in the north will be dry," Mr Levy said.
Mr Walsh said game hunting generated around $100 million annually and supports jobs in hospitality and recreational supplies, such as vehicles, boats, fuel, firearms and ammunition, plus camping and hunting equipment.
“The Victorian Coalition Government encourages hunters to make the most of the opportunities to hunt, fish and enjoy these recreational activities, which form part of our heritage.”
There will again be a bag limit of 10 game ducks which includes no more than two Australasian (Blue-winged) Shovelers this season.
Mr Walsh said the 2013 Victorian Hunting Guide would be available before the start of the season and mailed to all licensed hunters.