Native game bird FAQs

Do I need Written Permission to hunt on a licensed property?

No, but you do need the landholder's express authority for you to hunt on their land. The landholder can give you their authority however they see fit.

Is there a list of licensed properties you could give me?

Landholders who have a Native Game Bird Management Licence for their property are invited to list their details on a Landholder Register if they want to be contacted by licensed hunters. Not all landholders need help to manage native game birds on their properties and some may already have existing arrangements for hunters to assist them.

The Native Game Bird Landholder Register is available on the Native Game Bird Portal, which is part of online services. You'll be given access to the Portal when we verify your WIT. You need your licence number and security PIN as well as the landholder's licence number to login online.

Endorsed hunters can also contact the Native Game Bird Support Team on 03 5874 2983 for verbal advice.

Can you recommend properties I could hunt on?

No, the Game Licensing Unit is part of a government department and can't facilitate hunting opportunities. You will need to seek out hunting opportunities yourself.

Do I need to know the property quota before I hunt?

Yes, it is mandatory to fill-in your Native Game Bird Hunter Diary (PDF, 93 KB) with property quotas before hunting and also the numbers of native game birds you harvested during your hunt.

How do I find out what the property quota is?

Logon to the Native Game Bird Portal, which is part of online services , to find out the quotas for each property listed on a landholder's licence. You're given access to the Portal when we verify your WIT and update your licence for game birds. You need your licence number and security PIN as well as the landholder's licence number to login online.

If your licence is updated, you can also contact the Native Game Bird Support Team on 03 5874 2983 to find out the quotas.

Which parts of the property can I hunt on?

Landholder licences now cover the whole property and the landholder decides the areas they want you to hunt. You should ask the landholder about the property boundaries and permitted hunting areas before hunting.

Can I go on a list that's given to landholders?

Yes, the Hunter Register is a list of hunters who are available during the week to help landholders manage native game birds. You need to nominate the regions you can travel to and what days of the week you are available to hunt. It does not cover weekend hunting.

Submit Form GB-HR Native Game Bird Management mid-week hunter register to go on the list.

Am I only allowed to hunt on rice growing properties?

Landholders can apply for a Native Game Bird Management Licence for any type of agricultural lands and production, such as wheat, lucerne or oats that are impacted by native game birds. They must have a current licence and a quota for you to be able to hunt though.

I need to get my WIT, how do I go about it?

To organise to sit the WIT, submit Form GB-W Expression of Interest – Waterfowl Identification Test (PDF, 49.97 KB) or contact the Native Game Bird Support Team on 03 5874 2983.

How do I use the Native Game Bird Hunter Diary?

You need to use one diary page (PDF, 93 KB) for each time you enter and leave a property on a hunt.

  1. When you find out the property quota, start filling in a diary page. Add the property name and licence number, then record the current quota in the first set of species boxes. If you are going to hunt on multiple properties, use a different page for each property.
  2. When you enter the property to hunt, fill in the date and time you enter on your diary page.
  3. When you are finished hunting, write down the number of ducks you harvested in the second set of species boxes and the time you leave the property.
  4. Within 14 days of your hunt, submit your harvest details to the Game Licensing Unit and then write the date submitted at the bottom of the diary page.

When will I receive my hunter diary so I can start hunting?

When you notify us of your WIT number, we need to verify it before we can send out your Native Game Bird Hunter Kit, which includes the Hunter Diary. Verification can take over a week so if you are able to provide us with a copy of your WIT certificate or Victorian Game Licence card that shows your WIT number we'll be able to send out the kit sooner.

You can also download and print a diary page (PDF, 93 KB)

What duck species can I hunt?

There are 10 species of ducks that can be harvested on authorised properties in NSW under the Native Game Bird Management Program:

  • Australian Shelduck or Mountain Duck (Tadorna tadornoides)
  • Australian Wood Duck or Maned Duck (Chenonetta jubata)
  • Black Duck or Pacific Black Duck (Anas superciliosa)
  • Blue-winged Shoveler or Australasian Shoveler (Anas rhynchotis)
  • Chestnut Teal (Anas castanea)
  • Grass Whistling Duck or Plumed Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna eytoni)
  • Grey Teal (Anas gracilis)
  • Hardhead Duck or White-eyed Duck (Aythya australis)
  • Pink-eared Duck (Malacorhynchus membranaceus)
  • Water Whistling Duck, Wandering Whistling Duck or Whistling or Wandering Tree Duck (Dendrocygna arcuata)

Note: Each individual species of duck listed above can only be harvested on properties where an approved property quota has been issued for that species.

How do I get licensed to hunt ducks in NSW?

You can apply for either a NSW General or NSW Restricted Game Hunting Licence , issued by the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Game Licensing Unit, to hunt game species in NSW .

A NSW General Game Hunting Licence is the minimum requirement to participate in the Native Game Bird Management Program.

You will also need to have your NSW Game Hunting Licence upgraded to include authorisation for native game birds. To do this you need to pass the Waterfowl Identification Test (WIT) and provide your authorised WIT number to DPI.

Can I hunt ducks anywhere in NSW?

No. You can only hunt ducks on properties that are covered by a Native Game Bird Management (Owner/Occupier) Licence.

How many ducks can I harvest?

Each property covered by a Native Game Bird Management Licence has a set quota for individual species. When you ask for express authority to hunt, you should find out the landholders licence number so you can look up their property quotas by logging onto the Native Game Bird Portal .

Can I hunt ducks on dams or other storage waters?

Yes, you can hunt on dams or storage water including creeks as long as it is part of the property that is licensed. You can't shoot across creeks or rivers that aren't covered by a Native Game Bird Management (Owners/Occupiers) Licence. This includes any stream frontage public land that may be bordering private property. You should check property boundary information before hunting.

Can I hunt ducks at night?

Yes, but only if the ducks are on land subject to a native game bird management licence. You need to use a light of sufficient brightness that enables you to clearly see and identify your target species, and the ducks must be in the immediate vicinity of a planted crop.

Can I use decoys and callers?

Yes, the use of decoys and callers to assist with hunting is recommended.

Can I use a dog to hunt ducks?

Yes, but you must have the landholders consent to use a dog and then only use them for retrieval of harvested ducks.

What type of shot can I use to hunt ducks?

You can use all shot types when hunting ducks in NSW.

What sort of firearm can I use to hunt ducks?

You can only use shotguns not exceeding 12 gauge or two barrels when hunting ducks in NSW.

Can I take my harvested ducks home?

Yes, we encourage you to utilise ducks you harvest under the program.

Am I required to tag or identify that the ducks I take home were shot in NSW?

No, the program does not require you to tag the harvested ducks you take home, however we recommend that you check with your local state authority if you will be taking them out of NSW.

Your Hunter Diary needs to be filled in meticulously as it is evidence of the place and time you harvested the ducks.

Do I need to lodge a harvest return?

Yes, you are required to lodge your harvest return within 14 days of finishing your hunt. Harvest returns can be lodged by phone (03 5874 2983), fax (03 5874 3285), email (gamelicensing.southern@dpi.nsw.gov.au) , post (PO Box 276, Tocumwal 2714) or via the Native Game Bird Portal.

If you didn't hunt, or if you didn't harvest any game birds on a hunt, you do not need to submit a nil return.

Will I get in trouble if I submit a large harvest return?

No, accurate reporting of your harvests is encouraged so we can have the best possible data available for the program in the future.


Download a printable version of these Frequently Asked Questions (PDF, 55.98 KB)
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