WARNING – CONFRONTING IMAGES: Geelong business owner Tania became concerned when a driver stopped his white Mitsubishi Ute across from an industrial area and started throwing objects in a nearby paddock.

“It’s a dark street, there’s not much traffic, it’s not a thoroughfare at all,” she said.

Her first guess was that the man had dumped drugs, trash, or even old gas bottles, but what she later found was far worse. It “broke her heart”.

A Wildlife Victoria volunteer collects the bodies of dead ducks after they have been placed in a paddock.  Source: Delivered

A Wildlife Victoria volunteer collects the bodies of dead ducks after they have been placed in a paddock. Source: Delivered

A minute-long CCTV video seen by Yahoo News Australia confirms what she described. It shows a man early Wednesday morning in high visibility gear, wading through tall grass and dragging something over the fence.

When Tania’s husband returned from investigating later that morning, his response was blunt: “It’s not good shit,” he said.

On the ground lay the bodies of nine dead resident ducks – seven on the nature strip and two thrown over the fence. None of them had been harvested for their flesh.

“I always thought duck hunting was for the meat itself, not just for fun, but that just looks like a thrill,” she said.

Who shoots ducks in Victoria?

Each year the Victorian Government lifts conservation measures protecting waterfowl and allows gunners to open fire on them during the annual duck season.

As numbers of these native birds are known to be declining and reports of “bad behavior by some hunters” mounting, this year’s season has been cut to just one month by the government.

Two pictures of dead ducks.

Meat had not been taken from any of the ducks. Source: Delivered

Many shooters play by the rules and shoot ducks just for their meat, but Yahoo is aware of a number of reports this year of birds being shot and left to die slowly. Dozens of dead birds were also found, discarded or hidden, likely left behind because hunters are only allowed to shoot four a day.

Tania said this type of behavior “is not on”. “That’s not acceptable, not in my front yard,” she said.

Duck Hunting Facts:

  • 1700 entries were submitted to a Victorian Duck Hunting Inquiry.

  • Duck hunters consider the season a tradition that should be continued.

  • Since 1986, activist Laurie Levy has dumped hundreds of endangered waterfowl illegally shot during the season outside the Prime Minister’s office.

Ducks show signs of being shot in the face

Lou Bonomi, an animal rights volunteer with Wildlife Victoria, was called to the scene around 10:30 a.m. “It’s really great that the community is keeping vigil and calling us out and that they are shocked that people are doing this to wildlife during duck season,” she said.

Lou said some of the ducks were missing their breast feathers, a sign they could have been found by dogs, although autopsies are ongoing. “We still have X-rays to take, but it’s pretty obvious they have gunshot wounds on their faces and their bodies,” she said.

Concerns about wild ducks are growing in Victoria. The government is under pressure, both internally and from animal rights activists, to follow NSW and Queensland’s lead in banning the annual event.

Wildlife Victoria CEO Lisa Palma wants duck season to end. She said the high number of calls the group’s volunteers are receiving about injured ducks underscores the compassion the community has for them.

In the last five years, there have been nearly 12,000 native ducks across the state. “Since 2008, we have seen a steady and significant increase in calls for native waterfowl to our service,” she said.

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