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Hunting

Hunting

Victoria has some of the best game hunting opportunities in Australia. There are open seasons and bag limits in Victoria for game deer, duck and quail; these allow for great hunting while also ensuring the sustainable management of species.

The Game Management Authority is responsible for regulating all game hunting activity in Victoria. Visit their website www.gma.vic.gov.au for all information regarding hunting in Victoria, including licences, where and when to hunt and all regulations.

Duck Season 2015 - news

Four wetlands will be closed to duck hunting this season to protect significant numbers of threatened species, provide refuge for Brolga or to reinforce their status as off limits to hunting.

  • Round Lake at Lake Boga
  • Krause Swamp east of Hamilton
  • Kow Swamp, east of Kerang
  • Reedy Lakes, north of Kerang

In addition, a section of Lake Connewarre State Game Reserve is closed to hunting, the use of firearms and the carriage of loaded firearms for public safety during the period from 48 hours prior to the Open Season for Ducks, to 48 hours following the closure of the Open Season for Ducks. The area is defined by the coordinates (MGA Zone 55, GDA 94) West Fence line 278790, 576705 : West Water 278752, 5767617: East Fence line 279088, 5767566: East Water 279031, 5767477. See map

Blue-green algae have been detected in Lake Bolac. Blue-green algae occur naturally and can be dangerous to humans and animals. Characteristic signs of algae contact are skin rashes or itchiness, sore eyes, ears and nose, or, if swallowed, nausea or vomiting. Water from the lakes should not be used for cooking, drinking, washing, etc. Boiling the affected water will not make it safe to use. Anyone who comes into contact with affected water should wash skin immediately in clean water. Duck hunters please note that dogs are particularly susceptible. Read the Duck hunting and blue-green algae fact sheet


General hunting information for Parks Victoria locations

Parks Victoria is responsible for managing national, state, wilderness, coastal, regional and metropolitan parks and other conservation areas, such as State Game Reserves. 

Location

Is hunting permitted?

State game reserves (SGR)

Game species may be hunted, but only during the open season. Sixteen State Game Reserves are available for quail hunting and six for Hog Deer hunting. Pest animals may not be hunted at any time, unless specifically authorised.

See list below.

Melbourne water catchment areas

Hunting of any type is not permitted at any time.

A number of catchments and reservoirs in the outer metropolitan and central highlands area are controlled by Melbourne Water and are part of the metropolitan water supply system. Public entry to these areas is prohibited.

Flora and fauna reserves (FFR) and nature conservation reserves (NCR)

Hunting of any type is not permitted at any time. Carrying and using firearms in these areas is prohibited.

National parks, state parks, coastal parks, wilderness parks and regional parks

Generally, hunting of any type is not permitted at any time, but there are some exceptions. See list below.

State Game Reserves

All State Game Reserves are available to duck hunting during the open season. However, some State Game Reserves may be closed as part of seasonal arrangements. If this occurs, notices will be placed in major newspapers before the opening weekend.

Maps of State Game Reserves on GMA website

A section of Lake Connewarre State Game Reserve is closed to hunting, the use of firearms and the carriage of loaded firearms for public safety during the period from 48 hours prior to the Open Season for Ducks, to 48 hours following the closure of the Open Season for Ducks. The area is defined by the coordinates (MGA Zone 55, GDA 94) West Fence line 278790, 576705 : West Water 278752, 5767617: East Fence line 279088, 5767566: East Water 279031, 5767477. See map

Tower Hill Reserve, near Warrnambool, is closed to hunting every day between 9am and 5pm.

Jack Smith LakeDowd MorassEwings MorassClydebank MorassHeart Morass and Lake Coleman State Game Reserve are open for Hog Deer hunting during the Hog Deer season.

Stubble Quail may be hunted in the 16 State Game Reserves listed by the Game Management Authority within Stubble Quail Hunting Locations.

Pest animals or other non-game species, such as sparrows or starlings, may not be hunted on State Game Reserves. A Registration of Interest to Hunt Pest Animals on Crown Land does not entitle you to hunt pest species on State Game Reserves.

National, State, Wilderness, Coastal and Regional Parks

Most national, state, wilderness, coastal and regional parks are closed to hunting at all times. However, you are allowed to hunt in the parks listed below, subject to various conditions.

The list below is accurate according to regulations but always check the individual park page for change to condition notices which will list any road or other closures due to fire, flood, tree damage or other works which may affect your plans.

Hunters must not possess a firearm in, or transport a firearm through, a park (except in some instances) when hunting is prohibited. Also, where hunting is allowed, firearms must only be those calibres or gauges permitted for the species available for hunting in that park.

For further information, contact Parks Victoria on 13 1963.

Alpine National Park and Avon Wilderness Park: Sambar Deer may be hunted by stalking only in parts of the Alpine National Park and in the whole of the Avon Wilderness Park from 15 February to 15 December. The use of dogs to hunt Sambar Deer is not permitted in these parks. Pest animals and other species must not be hunted in these parks.Note for Alpine Resorts: All alpine resorts are closed to hunting at all times. However, you are allowed to transport a dog and firearms through a resort, providing the dogs are in a vehicle and the guns are in a safe and locked compartment.

Baw Baw National Park: Sambar Deer may be hunted by stalking only in the area east of Thomson Valley Road from 1 May to 25 October each year. The use of dogs to hunt Sambar Deer is not permitted in this park. Pest animals and other species must not be hunted in this park.

Cape Conran Coastal Park: On Sydenham Inlet in the park, game duck may be hunted during the open season. Dogs are allowed for the flushing or retrieval of ducks during the open season.

Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park: In certain sections, game duck, Stubble Quail and Hog Deer may be hunted in season. Dogs are allowed for the flushing or retrieval of game ducks during the duck season. Check with Parks Victoria for details. Pest animals and other species must not be hunted in this park. Hunters must have a permit from Parks Victoria to erect a hide or to cut vegetation or a hide in the Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park.

Lake Albacutya Park: The hunting of pest animals (rabbits, foxes or cats) is allowed, as is the hunting of game duck during the open season. Dogs are allowed for retrieval of game ducks during the duck open season. Hunting is not permitted in part of the park at the Western Beach visitor facilities, including near the boat ramp.

Lake Eildon National Park: In certain sections in the south-east of the park, Sambar Deer may be hunted from the first Saturday after Easter, being 14 April, until 30 November. The use of dogs to hunt deer is not permitted in this park. Pest animals and other species must not be hunted in this park.

Mitchell River National Park: Sambar Deer hunting by stalking is permitted east of the Mitchell River and south of Hortons and Calvi Tracks from 15 February to 15 December. The use of dogs to hunt deer is not permitted in this park. Pest animals and other species must not be hunted in this park.

Tara Range Park: Deer Hunting (not in the close season) by stalking is permitted in this park from 15 February to 15 December. The use of dogs to hunt deer is not permitted in this park. Pest animals and other species must not be hunted in this park.

Nooramunga Marine and Coastal Park: Hunting for Hog Deer and game duck is permitted in certain sections in season. Pest animals and other species must not be hunted in this park.

Duck Hunting and the Murray River

The southern bank of the Murray River, including the original location of that bank beneath impounded waters such as Lake Mulwala and Lake Hume, is the State border between Victoria and New South Wales. South of that border, game ducks may be hunted during the open season on any area open to duck hunting. This includes flood waters that have flowed over the southern bank of the Murray River into Victoria.

If you are hunting ducks on Lake Mulwala or Lake Hume during the open season, it is your responsibility to be aware of your location on those lakes. The hunting of ducks in NSW is not permitted, unless as part of the NSW Game Bird Management Program. For more information, phone the NSW Game Council on (02) 6360 5111.

More Information

The Game Management Authority (GMA) is an independent statutory authority responsible for the regulation of game hunting in Victoria. More resources including maps, regulations and licensing are available from the GMA website 

Information about the areas open to hunting is available from a wide range of sources, including the GMA website, the DELWP Customer Service Centre 136 186, hunting organisations, parish plans, up-to-date maps, private landowners and Victoria Police.