Need to know:
In NSW, wild deer are classified as a ‘game animal’ under the Game and Feral Animal Control Act 2002 (the Act). This means that individuals seeking to hunt deer in NSW are required to hold a NSW Game Hunting Licence, either General (private land) or Restricted (public and private). They must also abide by special conditions and adhere to a mandatory code of practice.
Some individuals are exempt from the requirement to hold a licence and obey special conditions for wild deer.
The rules governing hunting of wild deer in NSW are set out in the Act and its Regulation 2012. Read the Rules & regulations page for more information.
From Friday 16 November 2018, some of the normal rules for hunting wild deer are suspended across NSW.
Read the suspension order published in the NSW Government Gazette. The order is in effect for three years.
To minimise the impacts of abundant wild deer herds across the State, some of the deer hunting regulations have been suspended. The current suspension applies across all of NSW for a period of three years.
Wild deer were identified as a priority species in the 11 Local Land Services Regional Strategic Pest Animal Management Plans. Suspending the normal rules for deer hunting allows more options to control and minimise their impacts on landholders, the environment and communities.
Licensed, reputable hunters are invited to add their details to the Deer Assistance Hunter Register so landholders may contact them for help managing the impacts of wild deer.
Being placed on a hunter register is not a guarantee of being called by a landholder or of gaining access to a property to hunt deer.
|Rule||Private land||Public land|
|Must have permission of the landholder before entering any lands to hunt deer||Yes||Yes||Public land – Written Permission from NSW DPI|
|Must hold a NSW game hunting licence||Yes||Yes||General or Restricted|
|Must obey the Hunters Code of Practice||Yes||Yes|
|May hunt all deer species all year-round||Yes||Yes||Legal season for fallow, red, wapiti and hog deer suspended|
|May use a bait, lure or decoy to attract deer||Yes||Yes||Does not include poison baits|
|May hunt deer at night||Yes||No||Not suspended on public land due to public safety issues|
|May use a spotlight or other electronic device||Yes||No||Not suspended on public land due to public safety issues|
|May hunt from a motor vehicle||Yes||No||Not suspended on public land due to public safety issues|
Farmers who require help managing a wild deer population may access a register of volunteer hunters.
Landholders and land managers may phone 02 6363 7650 or email email@example.com to access a list of volunteer hunters who have registered for their Local Land Services region.
Hunters holding a NSW Restricted or General Game Hunting Licence are invited to complete the Deer Assistance Hunter Register form to add their contact information to a register that landholders may access.
The following information is required when registering:
Landholders may choose to contact you if they require assistance. There is no Deer Assistance register listing landholders requiring help, only licensed hunters.
Should a landholder require assistance, they may request access to the hunter register for their Local Land Services region by contacting the NSW DPI Game Licensing Unit.