Game and feral animal hunting in NSW is 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 2012. In particular, Schedule 1 of the Regulation sets out the mandatory conditions of all NSW Game Hunting Licences.
NSW DPI is responsible for enforcement of, and compliance with these conditions. Breaches of the regulations may result in serious penalties.
Additional conditions apply depending on whether you are hunting on public land or on private land, taking part in the NSW Native Game Bird Management Program and for other hunting programs.
Hunters are required to hold a valid hunting licence if they are hunting on public land, or if they are hunting deer or other game animals on private land.
A condition of holding a game hunting licence is compliance with the regulations.
Hunters must also carry their valid hunting licence with them at all times while hunting. The licence must be produced immediately when requested by an authorised inspector, NSW Police officer or the landowner. If a hunter loses, damages or misplaces their licence they can apply for a new one (fees apply).
A hunter must have permission from the owner or manager of the land they wish to hunt on, before entering that land to hunt.
For public land in NSW, DPI is able to grant written permission to hunters on behalf of other land managers.
If a hunter holds a NSW restricted game hunting licence (R-licence), they are able to apply for written permission to hunt on specified public lands.
A copy of the written permission to hunt must be carried at all times when hunting and must be produced immediately when requested by an authorised inspector, NSW Police officer or the land owner.
Written permissions issued by DPI are subject to standard conditions that are agreed to when a hunt is booked. Individual hunting areas may also have special conditions that must be agreed to. Compulsory GPS data downloads also form part of the written permission conditions.
Minor hunters (over the age of 12 and under the age of 18) are able to apply for a Minors Game Hunting Licence. The licensed minor must hunt under the close personal supervision of a licensed person who is at least 18 years old. The minor hunter must also hold the same type of licence as the supervising adult hunter.
Minor hunters are not eligible to hold a hunting guide, commercial or professional hunting licence.
If a minor hunter is using firearms, they must hold a Minors Firearms Training Permit as well as a Minors Game Hunting Licence. Minor's firearms permits are issued by the NSW Police Force Firearms Registry.
Special conditions apply to game hunting licence holders when hunting deer or other game animals in NSW.
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.
The following deer hunting rules apply from 16 November 2018 through to 15 November 2021.
More information about the new rules can be found on the Managing wild deer in NSW page.
|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 lifted|
|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|
Other special conditions for deer hunting include:
It is illegal to release game animals for the purpose of hunting.
When hunting game birds, hunters must not use:
Other special conditions on game bird hunting include:
All dogs being used to hunt must:
These requirements are in addition to the special conditions for hunting deer and other game animals using dogs.
Part 13 of Schedule 1 of the Game and Feral Animal Control Regulation 2012 sets out the general conditions that apply to any hunting of pigs using dogs on public land. These conditions are: