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Bird shooting season opens next week

Published:Saturday | August 15, 2015 | 8:00 AM

Bird shooters can now gear up. The 2015 game bird-shooting season has officially been declared open by Robert Pickersgill, minister of water, land, environment and climate change, and will run from Saturday, August 22 to Sunday, September 20. Game shooting will be allowed on Saturdays and Sundays only.

There will be two shooting sessions on Saturdays - from sunrise to 9 a.m. and from 2:30 p.m. to sunset. On Sundays, there will only be one shooting session from sunrise to 9 a.m.

Hunter's licence

All hunters must ensure that they have a hunter's licence from the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) or any of its authorised vendors. The fee for the licence is $15,000, and all applicants should ensure that they have a valid taxpayer registration number and firearm licence/user's permit.

Only certain birds are allowed to be hunted - the baldpate or white-crowned pigeon, the pea dove or zenaida dove, the white-winged dove and the long-tailed pea dove or mourning dove.

No more than 20 birds can be shot in a session, and of these, no more than 15 should be the baldpate (white crowned pigeon). The heads of the birds must be kept for inspection.

Shooters must ensure that they do not shoot in game and forest reserves or within 50 metres from the boundaries of the reserves.

A fine of up to $100,000 will be imposed for shooting protected birds or exceeding the number of birds that are allowed to be hunted in a single session. A shooter can also be imprisoned for breaching any of these rules.

- Julian Nelson