DUCK season is on us again, and the various camps are gearing up for a battle royal.
I suppose camp one is the duck shooters.
They are licensed shooters, have passed special duck recognition courses, have spent large sums of money on the sport, and perhaps most importantly, are acting within the law.
The 2018 season will start tomorrow, and will last 12 weeks, closing on Monday, June 11.
Shooters are limited to 10 birds per person, per day and like last year, the hunting of the blue-winged shoveler will be prohibited.
The Game Management Authority has based its rules for this year on analysis of habitat and waterbird surveys conducted across eastern Australia.
Camp two is those who are opposed to duck shooting on any level.
These members of the public have firmly-held beliefs that duck shooting should not happen, and they go to great lengths to ruin the sport and protest to those who hunt.
Camp three is the farmers who are fed up with crop damage by large flocks of ducks who in good conditions are able to breed in abundance and feed off the food that is lovingly grown by men and women of the land.
Farmers can use a few tactics, such as lights and sirens, but the most effective measure is allowing hunters to cull the flocks.
Now the softies, and I include myself in that description, may decry the destruction of these birds in so great a number.
They may argue that too many are killed for the sake of sport rather than crop protection, but overall I think we need to reel in our sensitivities a bit.
Farmers are losing crops and hunters are helping out, partaking in a legal sport with government support and encouragement.
I have no interest whatsoever in hunting ducks, I slow down on the road to let them cross, but I accept that as long as hunters act within the law, the only way to stop the sport is to lobby the government.
Protestors have done some good work in this direction by digging up those ducks hastily buried by hunters and dumping them at parliament, but standing in the line of fire and blowing whistles to ruin the sport of the hunters is just childish.
It’s time for all to act sensibly.
The hunters must act within the rules and only shoot 10 ducks a day that have been positively identified.
The protestors must try to change the law rather than dance around in the mud like spoilt kids who don’t get their own way.
But we must remember, if the law changes, the farmers miss out on their crops, and how would you like it if your income was slashed by the acts of