In 2018, certain deer hunting regulations, such as deer seasons, were suspended across the State to better support landholders managing abundant herds of feral deer on their property.
In 2019, the requirement for individuals to hold a licence before hunting deer on private land was removed.
In 2022, the new Game and Feral Animal Control Regulation removed most of the species-specific requirements for deer hunting, meaning they no longer need to be suspended.
Given the wide range of impacts feral deer can have on environmental, agricultural and social values, deer are listed as a Key Threatening Process under biodiversity legislation and are a priority pest in Local Land Services Regional Strategic Pest Animal Management Plans.
These changes encourage farmers to better manage deer, meet their Biosecurity Duty and preserve NSW’s favourable biosecurity status. It also allows individuals holding a firearms licence, and skilled bowhunters, to hunt them on private property with permission from the landholder.
No; a formal control order for deer has not been made under the Biosecurity Act 2015.
While landholders have a general duty to take action where populations of deer are on their land, they are not subject to penalties for not taking action.
Note: if you want to participate in the NSW Native Game Bird Management Program to target native game birds on private land, you must hold a NSW General Game Hunting Licence (G-Licence) or R-Licence that is endorsed for game birds.
You must always have permission from the landholder or manager before you hunt.
If you intend to use firearms, you must also hold a current firearms licence issued by a state or territory authority.
Yes, if you continue to hold a G-Licence or R-Licence, the $20 million public liability insurance coverage attached to your licence covers you when hunting on private land. This means licence holders are covered when hunting any species listed in the Game and Feral Animal Control Act 2002 on private land Australia-wide.
Yes, requirements for the Native Game Bird Management Program have not changed.
You must hold a G-Licence or R-Licence with native game bird endorsement and have permission to hunt from a landholder who is licensed to manage them, before seeking to hunt native game birds in NSW.
The vertebrate pest control product 1080 is a highly regulated tool for the widespread control of pest animals. Sodium fluoroacetate, the active ingredient in 1080, occurs naturally in many Australian plants.
1080 poison is not approved for routine control of feral deer. Any proposal to use 1080 in this way would first be considered by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority. This would involve a comprehensive assessment process to consider risks to human safety and non-target species as well as the potential for environmental residues.
No, you are not required to hold a NSW Game Hunting Visitors Licence to deer hunt on private land in NSW. However, you must have the landholder or manager’s permission.
If you are seeking to hunt native game birds on private land in NSW you must hold a visitor’s licence with endorsement for the Native Game Bird Management Program and hunt in the company of an Australian resident holding the same licence.
If you intend to hunt with firearms, you must contact the NSW Police Force Firearms Registry to obtain the relevant permits before entering NSW.
If you intend to hunt on public land in NSW, you are still required to obtain a NSW Restricted Game Hunting Visitors Licence (R-Visitors).
No, there is no requirement to hold a hunting licence before professionally hunting deer on private land; however you are still required to have permission from the landholder and must hold a valid firearms licence if using firearms.
No, you don't require a NSW General Game Hunting Commercial Licence to sell the meat or any other part of deer harvested on private land. However, you are still required to hold appropriate licences and complete training requirements with the NSW Food Authority.
No, you don't require a NSW Game Hunting Guide Licence to guide other hunters targeting deer on private land; however you must continue to meet requirements with the NSW Police Force Firearms Registry relating to your activity, as well as overseas clients.
However, if your activities cover guiding individuals hunting under the Native Game Bird Management Program, you are still required to hold an endorsed G-Guide licence.
If you'd like to speak with someone to discuss your options, contact the DPI Hunting Customer Service Team on 02 6363 7650 or email@example.com.