Hunting

State and territory hunting regulations

Hunting in Australia is regulated separately by each state and territory government. This has lead to a variety of different regulations and laws as well as different fees, charges and licence requirements. The following information provides a snapshot of what’s required to hunt in each state of Australia.

Vic NT Qld ACT NSW Tas WA SA

Victoria
In the State of Victoria, a person can currently hunt a variety of game species under a state licence system. All other pest or feral animals can be taken on both state forest and private land with the landholders’ permission, without a specific permit under the normal conditions of a firearms licence.
Some species of the game can only be taken during a proclaimed ‘open season’ where there may be a set ‘bag limit’ on that species. A bag limit is normally the limit or total number of the species you can take a day.
Victoria has a number of different types of game licences available. Various licences require that the applicant has passed a Hound Hunting Test and/or Waterfowl Identification Test in the case of deer and duck hunting.
In Victoria, the following species are generally classified as game and can be taken during a declared open season subject to seasonal variations.

  • Stubble quail
  • Pheasants and partridges
  • European quail
  • Californian quail
  • Pacific Black duck
  • Grey teal
  • Hardhead (white-eyed duck)
  • Mountain duck (Australian shelduck)
  • Pink-eared duck
  • Maned duck (wood duck)
  • Chestnut teal
  • Blue-winged shoveler
  • Hog deer
  • Red deer
  • Sambar deer
  • Fallow deer

Victoria’s Department of Sustainability and Environment has declared the following species to be pest and can be generally hunted any time.

  • Rabbits
  • Hares
  • Foxes
  • Feral dogs and dogs run wild
  • Feral goats and goats run wild
  • Feral pigs and pigs run wild

For the latest in game licence types, fees and regulations please go to the Department of Sustainability and Environment website.

Northern Territory
The Northern Territory currently allows the hunting of feral pigs and waterfowl under a permit system. All other classified feral animals can be taken on private land with the landholders’ permission, without a specific permit under the normal conditions of a firearms licence.
Waterfowl hunting in the Northern Territory is seasonal and is declared by a notice each year in the Government Gazette.
Permits to hunt pigs are issued for a period of one year from August 1 to July 31 each year. Permits are issued to allow hunting of pigs within the Northern Territory hunting reserves of Shoal Bay and Harrison Dam. Permits to hunt pigs on designated crown land can also be obtained from the Department of Planning and Infrastructure.
To hunt on private land or hunting concession, you require only landowner permission. To hunt on Aboriginal Lands, a permit from the respective Land Council and endorsement from the Traditional Owner is required.
All waterfowl hunters are required to obtain a Waterfowl Hunting Permit prior to hunting, whether hunting on or off the Parks and Wildlife Hunting Reserves. The Waterfowl Hunting Permit details the conditions that apply to the annual season, which must be adhered to by hunters.
In the Northern Territory, the following duck/geese species can be taken during a declared open season.

  • Magpie geese
  • Pacific black duck
  • Wandering whistle duck (or water whistle duck)
  • Plumed whistle duck (or grass whistle duck)
  • Grey teal
  • Pink-eared duck
  • Hardhead duck (or white-eyed duck)
  • Maned duck (or wood duck).

In the Northern Territory, the following species are classified as feral and can be taken any time. The following animals have been declared pests.

  • Arabian camel
  • Buffalo
  • Cane toad
  • Donkey
  • Feral cat
  • Horse
  • Red fox
  • Wild boar
  • Goat
  • European rabbit
  • Wild dog
  • Feral cattle
  • House sparrow
  • Pigeon
  • Sambar deer
  • Rusa deer
  • Turtle dove

For the latest in game licence types, fees and regulations please visit the Department of Natural Resources, Environment, The Arts and Sport website.

Queensland
Hunting is limited to feral animals on private property with landowners’ permission to hunt on the property.
Only a current firearms licence is required to hunt on private property. There is no hunting permit or fee applicable. Full licence holders must be 18 years of age and children of at least 11 years can use firearms under a minors licence with adult supervision
Queensland doesn’t have any species currently classified as game that can be taken by recreational hunters during an open season.
The following animals are some of the species classified as pests and can be taken any time.

  • Bali cattle
  • Bison or American buffalo
  • Camel
  • Chital (Axis) deer
  • Donkey
  • European hare
  • Fallow deer
  • Hog deer
  • Cat, other than a domestic cat
  • Dingo
  • Dog, other than domestic dog
  • European fox
  • European rabbit
  • Feral pig
  • Goat, other than domestic goat

Australian Capital Territory
Hunting is limited to feral animals on private property with landowners’ permission to hunt on the property. The ACT doesn’t have any species currently classified as game that can be taken by recreational hunters.
Only a current firearms licence is required to hunt on private property. There is no hunting permit or fee applicable. Juniors between the age of 12 and 18 years can apply for a minors firearm permit.
The following animals are some of the species classified as feral and can be taken.

  • Rabbit
  • Hare
  • Fox
  • Pig
  • Goat
  • Feral cat
  • Feral dog

New South Wales
New South Wales currently allows the hunting of deer during a declared open season. All other classified game animals can be taken on private land with the landholders’ permission and in declared state forests and crown land. Ducks can be hunted under the NSW Game Bird Management Program.
Under the Game and Feral Animal Control Act, four of the seven species of deer in NSW can only be hunted at certain times of the year. The hog deer, red, wapiti and fallow Deer have restricted hunting open seasons and varying bag limits. The chital, sambar and rusa deer can be hunted all year round by licensed hunters. These three species of deer also have no bag limit.
NSW Department of Primary Industries recommend a minimum calibre of .243 for small deer(hog and fallow) and .270 for large deer (sambar, chital, red and rusa).
Under the NSW Game Bird Management Program which is managed by the NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS), private landholders can legally protect their crops from the damage caused by wild ducks using conservation hunters licensed by Game Council NSW. No season or bag limits apply.
Species such as California quail, partridge, pheasant, peafowl and turkey can be hunted on private land and no bag limits apply. Species such as pigs, dogs (other than dingo), cats, goats, rabbits, hares and foxes can be hunted on private land and no bag limits apply. By holding the R-Licence, hunting for game and feral animals can occur on declared state forests and crown land areas.
To hunt in New South Wales, a Restricted NSW Game Hunting Licence or R-Licence and written permission are required by law for hunting game and feral animals in declared state forests and crown land areas of NSW. The R-Licence also incorporates the General NSW Game Hunting Licence or G-Licence which is required by law for hunting wild deer, ducks and game birds on private land only in NSW. Minors are able to obtain a firearm permit and Game Licence between the age of 12 and 18 years.
Once the R-Licence has been obtained, a hunter will need to book their hunt at a particular location through Game Council NSW. Bookings can be made by using the internet or by phoning the Game Council.

In NSW, the following animals are classified as game species.

  • Ducks (under NSW Game Bird Management Program)
  • Wild deer
  • California quails
  • Partridges
  • Pheasants
  • Peafowl
  • Turkeys
  • Pigs*
  • Dogs (other than dingo)*
  • Cats*
  • Goats*
  • Rabbits*
  • Hares*
  • Foxes*

*Also classified as feral

For the latest in game licence types, fees and regulations please visit the Game Council NSW website.

Tasmania
In Tasmania, a Game Licence authorises the taking of game during a declared open season. Pest or feral animals can be taken at any time on both private land, state forest and crown land.
Pest animals such as rabbits, hares, foxes and feral domestic animals such as pigs and goats can be taken at any time on crown land, state forest and on private property with the permission of the landholder.
Minor firearm permits are available for those under 18 years who cannot apply for a full licence. There are two classes of minor permits, one for minors between 12 and 16 years and the other for minors between 16 and 18 years. Hunting permits are only available to minors who are 16 to 18 years of age
Any persons wishing to take deer, wild duck, muttonbird, wallaby, brown quail or pheasant during the gazetted open seasons in Tasmania will require a licence.These licences are for recreational hunting only within the prescribed open seasons.
All persons aged 18 and older who wish to take deer, duck, wallaby, brown quail and pheasant will require a current firearms licence. Firearms licences issued from all Australian states or territories are acceptable.
For all species types except wallaby, a licence will not be issued unless take details from the previous season have been received and recorded. A letter requesting take details will be sent out in July each year and, as required by Regulation 8 of the Wildlife Regulations 1999. The hunter is requested to complete and return this form to the address shown on the back of the return form by the date indicated.
In Tasmania, the following are referred to as a game species and can be taken during a specified open season.

  • Deer
  • Wild duck
  • Muttonbird (non-commercial)
  • Wallaby (non-commercial)
  • Brown quail
  • Pheasant

In Tasmania, the following are referred to as introduced pest animals and can be taken at any time.

  • Rabbits
  • Hares
  • Foxes
  • Feral domestic animals such as pigs and goats

For the latest in game licence types, fees and regulations please visit the Department of Primary Industries and Water website.

Western Australia
Hunting is limited to taking feral animals on private property with landowner’s permission. Western Australia doesn’t have any game species open seasons currently available to the recreational hunter.
Only a current firearms licence is required to hunt on private property. There is no hunting permit or fee applicable. A firearms licence cannot be issued to a person under the age of 18 years.
The following animals are some of the feral species that can be regularly taken in Western Australia.

  • Rabbits
  • Hares
  • Foxes
  • Pigs
  • Wild dog
  • Goat
  • Camel
  • Donkey
  • Wild horse
  • Wild cattle
  • Starling

South Australia
In South Australia open seasons under certain conditions permit the hunting of certain species of protected game. A few species of native animals and all species of introduced animals can be hunted with no bag restrictions; however a hunting permit is required before it is permissible to hunt such animals. A hunter must obtain and carry written permission when hunting on private land.
South Australia has a permit system in which any person wanting to hunt must hold the appropriately endorsed permit. The ‘Basic’ permit enables a person to hunt all species of introduced animals and a few selected native species. To hunt duck and quail will require an ‘Open Season’ permit (quail and duck plus Basic) for the hunting of protected game. There is currently also an ‘Open Season Quail’ permit available for those not intending to participate in duck hunting. It is a requirement that prior to applying for an Open Season permit (which endorses Duck Hunting) an applicant must have first passed the Waterfowl Identification Test (WIT). Juniors aged between 15 and 18 years old or sub-juniors under the age of 14 years can apply for a hunting permit.
In South Australia, the following species are classified as game and can be taken during a declared open season.

  • Stubble quail
  • Pacific black duck
  • Grey teal
  • Hardhead (white-eyed duck)
  • Mountain duck (Australian shelduck)
  • Pink-eared duck
  • Maned duck (wood duck)
  • Chestnut teal
  • Blue-winged shoveler

In South Australia, the following species are classified as feral and can be taken any time on private property with permission from landowners.

  • Feral goat
  • Pig
  • Camel
  • Deer
  • Rabbit
  • Red fox
  • Starling
  • Domestic pigeon
  • European blackbird
  • Spotted turtle-dove

For the latest in hunting licence types, fees and regulations please visit the Department for Environment and Heritage website.

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