Help for private landholders

While most hunting in NSW is regulated, private landholders who hunt on their own land do not need a game hunting licence, unless they hunt under the NSW Native Game Bird Management Program.

Do I need a game hunting licence?
(Landholders, members of their household and employees)
Own land Other private land
Rabbits, foxes, feral pigs, feral goats, wild dogs (not dingo), feral cats, hares No No
Feral deer No No
Native game birds (ducks) - Owner/Occupier Licence to allow licensed hunters to manage game ducks on your land (minimum requirement) Yes Yes
Managing native game birds (ducks) yourself - you may also need a NSW Game Hunting Licence (General or Restricted) and complete the Waterfowl Identification Test Yes Yes
When do hunters I allow on my property need a game hunting licence?Licence Other requirements
Rabbits, foxes, feral pigs, feral goats, wild dogs (not dingo), feral cats, hares No Permission
Feral deer No Permission
Native game birds (ducks) Yes Waterfowl Identification Test and permission

Licensed, safe and responsible hunters can help landholders with:

The DPI Game Licensing Unit can help you to Shut the gate on illegal hunting.

If you experience impacts from illegal hunting, request a free landholder kit today. The kit contains:

  • general tips and tricks to discourage or report illegal hunters
  • information on using infrared surveillance cameras
  • free private property and surveillance signs.

Have problems with these species?

Are you impacted by feral deer?

You may give permission to hunt feral deer on your property to any individual holding a current firearms licence or who is a skilled bowhunter.

In NSW, feral deer were identified as a priority species in the 11 Local Land Services Regional Strategic Pest Animal Management Plans. They are also listed as a Key Threatening Process in Biodiversity legislation. As a result, the NSW Government removed the requirement for individuals seeking to hunt feral deer on private land, effective Friday 6 September 2019.

More information

Connect with game bird hunters now!

If you already hold the appropriate licences, access the hunter register to find licensed, volunteer hunters who are ready to help you manage native game ducks.

You can also add your details to the landholder register to allow available hunters to contact you and offer their help.

You can access both of these registers online, send a request for access to gamelicensing.southern@dpi.nsw.gov.au or call 02 6051 7772 for verbal advice.

Do native game ducks impact your agricultural production?

Everyone who needs to manage or hunt native game ducks in NSW must hold a licence and be part of the Native Game Bird Management Program.

The Program sets a high standard for hunting native ducks and provides an ethical framework that allows volunteer hunters to assist landholders to protect their crops.

There are two licences that apply to landholders:

  1. to allow hunting of game ducks on your land - Native Game Bird Management (Owner/Occupier) Licence
  2. to hunt game ducks yourself on any land (including your own) - NSW Game Hunting Licence (General or Restricted).

1. Native Game Bird Management (Owner/Occupier) Licence

This is the primary licence you need to allow management of native game birds on your land. It's free and there are two ways to apply:

Individual property allocations

When you apply for a management licence, you also need to tell us what species require management and the kinds of impacts you are experiencing.

Based on this information, we will set an individual harvest allocation for each property attached to your licence. You will receive advice about the approved allocations when you receive your licence.

There are strict rules about how we can set allocations and also about applying to increase them. More information is in the NSW Game Hunting Guide.

2. NSW General or Restricted Game Hunting Licence

Anyone you allow on your land to hunt game species must hold one of these licences at a minimum.

G-Licence fee waived for Native Game Bird Management (Owner/Occupier) Licence holders

If you hold a landholder licence allowing game ducks to be managed on your land, and you wish to manage them yourself rather than call on volunteer hunters, you need to hold a game hunting licence as a minimum. The normal fee is waived for you in this instance. All you need to do is submit an application form to DPI - you can do this online or by filling in a paper form.

Extra requirements for native game ducks

Before game hunting licence holders qualify to harvest game ducks on agricultural lands covered by a Native Game Bird Management (Owner/Occupier Licence), they must pass the Waterfowl Identification Test (WIT) and request they be endorsed for the program. This also applies to you if you wish to manage them yourself.

There are also special licence conditions for the program.

WIT fee waived for Native Game Bird Management (Owner/Occupier) Licence holders

Special provision is also made to waive the normal WIT fees for landholders holding a management licence. Contact the Native Game Bird Support Team on 02 6051 7772 or gamelicensing.southern@dpi.nsw.gov.au to find out when a WIT is scheduled near you.

In NSW, licensing and permits to manage kangaroos or native species other than game ducks are managed by the Office of Environment and Heritage (National Parks & Wildlife Service).

In August 2018, changes were made to non-commercial kangaroo management including initiatives to allow volunteer shooters to support landholders in drought.

What has changed?

  • Physical tags – no longer required.
  • More than two shooters may operate under a landholder licence at any time.
  • Shooters no longer need to be listed on the landholder’s licence at the time of application and only need to be listed on landholder licence returns after culling operations.
  • Carcasses may be removed for personal use (but not sold, swapped or traded).

Read a step-by-step guide to applying for a permit with the National Parks and Wildlife Service, and to find volunteer shooters, on our kangaroo page.