Lead-up to South Australian Opening

The opening weekend for South Australia's duck and quail season is just over a week away, and Field & Game Australia have been on the ground seeking outcomes for our members and other hunters.

We have officially welcomed a new branch to the Field & Game Australia network: Waikerie. Waikerie Field & Game joins our other SA branches Keith, Kingston SE, and Barmera-Moorook. Barmera-Moorook joined Waikerie members at their range a week ago to smash a few clays and to get to know their new neighbouring branch. Welcome to Field & Game Australia, Waikerie!

Those of you still in the process of securing your permits for hunting in SA, Field & Game Australia representatives have been working with the helpful staff at DEWNR Fauna Permits Unit. There's been a bit of a backlog of permit processing, with both duck and quail seasons opening on February 18, but the DEWNR team were working to rectify this and clear the backlog earlier this week. Field & Game Australia appreciates the support from the great folks at DEWNR SA. A special thanks to the SA Field & Game representatives who have been working with local DEWNR offices so we can keep you informed.

If you missed the National Office WIT training and testing which was held in Adelaide earlier this week, you can get your Waterfowl ID accreditation at Barmera-Moorook Field & Game's training and test session. Full details are as follows:

Barmera Moorook:
Training and Testing Session
- Sunday, March 5, 10.30am start
Held at Cobdogla & Districts Club Inc, 13 Rowe Street, Cobdogla.
Cost: $50
For enquiries and bookings email or phone Jim Godden on 0438 898 106.

A discussion has been sparked by our questions of the SA State Government when we shared the season announcement late last year. The Conservation and Hunting Alliance of South Australia (CHASA) sent us this:

Our response was:

As raised in the letter, it's occasionally necessary to put policy under the spotlight, and involve hunters in the process of seeking solutions. We've asked similar questions of the Victorian state government, particularly last season, as we sought to advocate and represent our members and other hunters, seeking policy based on facts and data.

Another area we involve hunters is in our regular wetland and waterfowl surveys. These are conducted in Victoria and further afield, and will be taking place next week. We're keeping a keen eye out for Blue-wing, as these are reportedly low in number, and performing a bit of a check-up on our beautiful wetlands in this heat. Those volunteering in SA and Victoria, thankyou so much for giving up your time to help gather information for the benefit of all hunters and contributing to Field & Game Australia's long-running survey data.

There's other ways you can help with research and evidence too - Head & Wing samples. Research into Australian waterfowl using the heads and wings from harvested ducks is helps us get an indication of the overall health and condition of our waterfowl populations, as well as identifying hybridisation with exotic species such as the Mallard. We'll have more on our Head & Wing research in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.

And if you're hunting in SA, please be aware of the continued exclusion zone in the Pike Floodplain. There were exclusions and restrictions for the 2016 season, these have carried over to 2017.

Field & Game Australia is seeking to clarify the situation on this wetland.

Whether you're heading out this week to find a spot for SA opening, or you're just checking the waders for leaks for the Victorian opening weekend, stay cool and enjoy your time in the wetlands!

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