Tasmanian Times


Duck Shooters to Face the Music in Art-Meets-Activism Event

When: Saturday March 5 starting at dawn

Where: Moulting Lagoon, Tasmania

The opening of the Tasmanian recreational duck shooting season next weekend will see the biggest turnout of duck rescuers in many years. 40 duck rescuers will gather at Moulting Lagoon as part of “Duck Lake” – a visual extravaganza in which a troupe of dancers dressed in hot pink tutus will perform a choreographed routine to music from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, while costumed rescuers on foot and in kayaks will make their way around the lagoon deterring ducks from the shooters guns with sparkly, hot pink flags and windsocks.

Animals Tasmania spokesperson, Chris Simcox said:

We are delighted that local artist Yvette Watt is proposing to stage the Duck Lake event this year. We are hoping it will work to keep the ducks well away and stop them being shot. Native ducks are highly sensitive to unusual colour and movement. It will also be good for getting more people to experience the beauty of this place, contrasted with the horror of the brutal bloodshed. We look to have a large group of rescuers keen to be a part of this year’s rescue efforts.

Nine months in the making, “Duck Lake” has attracted over $10 000 in crowd funding, and was supported by over 60 Tasmanian Artists who made duck artworks as part of the crowd funding campaign.

Artist, Yvette Watt said:

I’ve been going up to the opening of duck shooting season as a duck rescuer since 2003 and I have been thinking about staging an event like this for years. It’s been a huge amount of work but the “Duck Lake” team, who I like to think of as the “duck mofos” have done an incredible job in pulling all this together. I am so grateful to the many, many people who have supported this project in one way or another.

Tasmania is one of only three states that still allow recreational duck shooting, with permanent bans in WA, QLD and NSW. The ACT has never allowed duck shooting. Mr Simcox explains:

More than anything we are concerned at the horrific suffering that comes from blasting innocent waterbirds from the sky. We see it every time we come out here during an open shooting season. We also know native ducks numbers are way down and breeding has been non-existent because of the dry, so that’s an added concern. Astoundingly, Parks & Wildlife are allowing the killing of native ducks to start on the very same day they are celebrating World Wildlife Day in another part of the state. We really believe duck shooting should be banned.

See also:


Animals Tasmania exists to promote respect and kindness towards all non-human animals. We represent all animals, no exceptions.
Chris Simcox: Animals Tasmania Yvette Watt: ‘Duck Lake’

Author Credits: [show_post_categories parent="no" parentcategory="writers" show = "category" hyperlink="yes"]


  1. Adrian

    March 8, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    Lets be clear, $10 000 in crowd funding, yet this money was not spent directly improving our wetlands, unlike many hunters dollars. Hunters and yes duck hunters also inject millions of dollars into local communities and they invest in conservation, saving many wetlands from destruction. There is also nothing wrong or unethical in those who want to eating wild duck. It may not be for everyone, but its certainly wrong for some to think they have a right to impose their ideological position on others and stop a sustainable practice. Plus duck hunters are perhaps the first to notice something is amiss with the wetlands. Time for protesting laws to be tightened, similar to those in Victoria, to protect the legal right of those who have paid for their activity and passed relevant courses.

  2. Rosalie Woodruff, MR posted by Editor

    March 2, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    Duck Shooters Need Knowledge of Gun Safety
    Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Environment spokesperson
    Thursday, 3 March 2016

    The comments, and apparent lack of understanding of gun laws, from the President of Field Hunting and Conservation are extremely concerning.

    Mr Darke, who represents 1100 armed duck hunters, is saying he isn’t sure who’s at fault if a shooter fires into a fog and hits an unseen person. It is always the responsibility of a shooter to have a clear line of sight before they fire.

    If the head of a major hunting body isn’t clear on these basic safety laws, it does not bode well.

    If shooters are out on our wetlands without full knowledge of gun safety, this is a very dangerous situation.

    The Minister for Police needs to make a statement immediately about public safety being the number one priority. He should clarify the laws and assure the community that all criminal conduct will be prosecuted to its fullest extent.

    Anyone has the right to protest the slaughter of our native birds. Protestors will be on our wetlands lawfully at the opening of the shooting season this weekend.

    It’s often protesters who rescue and care for the ducks that hit the water shot, but alive, and would otherwise be left to die slowly on the wetlands.

    This is Tasmania’s hottest summer on record, and our native ducks are under tremendous pressure with the severe drying and low water levels. This season they will be breeding in even harsher conditions than before.

    We are relying on shooters to follow the rules when it comes to not hunting before dawn and killing injured and suffering birds, but it seems some are struggling to understand basic gun safety.

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