• Number of recreational game licenced hunters averaged 25,674 for 2022-23, including 2,593 General Game Hunting Licences.
  • On average 233 of the declared state forests were available to hunters through the DPI booking/permit system during 2022-23.
  • 17,679 feral animals harvested from declared State Forests in 2022-23.
Recreational hunters contribute to the NSW economy through their expenditure at a range of businesses across the state including rural and regional communities, with the added benefit of assisting in the management of many game and pest animals that impact the environment, agricultural systems and communities. The NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) through DPI Hunting in conjunction with NSW Police regulate hunting in the state. DPI oversees the education, licensing and compliance for hunting activities on both private and public land in NSW, with game and feral animal hunting in NSW subject to regulations to ensure the safety of surrounding communities. Conditions that apply to legal hunting in NSW are set out in the Game and Feral Animal Control Act 2002 and the Game and Feral Animal Control Regulation 2022.

DPI Hunting supports responsible hunting on public and private lands through educational programs including ethical bow hunter and responsible hunting of pigs with dogs programs, as well the GunSmart program (the NSW firearms safety initiative). DPI approves courses for training of hunters and accredits persons, clubs or associations to deliver those courses. The Hunter Learning, Education and Accreditation Program (LEAP) includes a range of accredited training, short courses, workshops and manuals. those

Recreational game licence hunter activity

The number of licenced hunters increased over the prior year to 25,674 for 2022-23, with 2,593 or 10% of these holding General Game Hunting Licences. s The number of recreational game licenced hunters has grown at an average annual compound rate of about 5% over the last six years. 5

Hunters holding a valid Restricted Game Hunting Licence, s required for hunting on public land, were permitted a total of 61,265 hunting days in 2022-23. There were just over 7,500 unique hunters with these active hunters averaging just over 8 days hunting per hunter on approved public

lands for the year. On average 233 of the declared state forests were available to hunters through the DPI booking/permit system during 2022-23. As a result, 17,679 feral animals were harvested from declared and open State Forests over 2022-23, representing a 27% increase in the number of feral animals removed year-on year. 5 Rabbits and Pigs remain the top two feral species harvested from state forests in 2022-23, however all species except for Hares, recorded an uptick likely supported by more hunting activity as well as increased prevalence due to conducive seasonal conditions.

Number of NSW recreational hunting licences (including Restricted s and General t ) 5

Pest animals harvested from State Forests 5

  • Number Taken 2021-22
  • Number Taken 2022-23

Stronger Primary Industries Strategy

Success of new online hunting course

Strategic Outcome

Icon, a circle of leaves
Sustainable Resources and Productive Landscapes
  • 6.3 Regulate natural resource access now and for the future

DPI Hunting’s updated online Restricted Game Hunting Licence (R-Licence) Accreditation Course has been a resounding success since it launched in April 2022. Hunter education is a critical aspect of ensuring regulated hunting is legal, safe and responsible and this new course has made it accessible to all. While the option to complete the training via face-to-face delivery with accredited trainers remains, the online versions allows access to the course anywhere, at any time, and hunters can complete the training at their own pace. This is fantastic news for hunters from all over Australia who want to get licensed to hunt in NSW and improve their hunting knowledge.

The R-Licence Accreditation Course features real-life hunting scenarios and best practice methods to provide more comprehensive and relevant education about legal hunting in NSW. The R-Licence Accreditation Course is part of the NSW Department of Primary Industries Hunter Learning, Education and Accreditation Program (LEAP). Hunter LEAP ensures that individuals seeking to hunt on public lands are suitably educated and provides NSW Game Hunting Licence holders with access to a range of short courses and workshops to improve their skills and learn new techniques. The figures speak for themselves: since the course launched in April 2022, 3508 hunters have completed 10,220 individual courses with 100% of those hunters going on to apply for their Restricted game hunting licence. They are now part of the legal, safe and responsible recreational hunting community in NSW who have helped remove over 17,500 feral animals from public land in 2022-23 – further testament to the economic, social and environmental benefits of recreational hunting in NSW.