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.
2016 Duck Season
The 2016 duck hunting season will last 12 weeks, opening on Saturday 19 March and closing on Monday 13 June.
Some wetlands have been closed to duck hunting this season
The current Blue Green Algae (BGA) bloom the Murray River is likely to affect a number of duck hunting areas in northern Victoria. The Game Management Authority has a detailed fact sheet on what hunters need to know about how BGA will affect them, their dogs and the ducks they intend to eat: www.gma.vic.gov.au/education/fact-sheets/blue-green-algae
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.
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.
Tower Hill Reserve, near Warrnambool, is closed to hunting every day between 9am and 5pm.
Jack Smith Lake, Dowd Morass, Ewings Morass, Clydebank Morass, Heart Morass and strong>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.
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.