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 2022. In particular, Schedule 2 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.
On this page:
In September 2022, the Game and Feral Animal Control Regulation 2022 was published to the NSW legislation website and is now in force.
This web page contains all the changes and up to date rules from the remade Regulation.
The Game and Feral Animal Control Act 2002 is the framework for regulated hunting in NSW. The Regulation sets out administrative arrangements and other matters to support implementation of the Act.
The Game and Feral Animal Control Regulation 2022 (GFAC 2022) contains only minor amendments compared to the Game and Feral Animal Control Regulation 2012. GFAC 2022 provides for a responsible hunting sector, clarifies or modernises regulatory requirements and reflects contemporary legal drafting practices.
Thank you to everyone who participated in the public consultation period between Tuesday 14 June and Tuesday 12 July 2022.
The public consultation collected feedback from a wide range of voices interested in hunting legislation and reflected the variety of views. We note that some stakeholders raised concerns with some proposals. Through feedback, we also identified some policy and implementation items that require further consideration and consultation, and therefore were not suitable to progress as part of this process.
The NSW Government considered all feedback received by the deadline from the public consultation on the draft regulation in formulating GFAC 2022.
The 2022 Regulation has been modified from the draft regulation that went to public consultation. The NSW Government may consider options that had reasonable stakeholder interest in future regulation reform packages. The feedback we received will be valuable into the future as we consider further options to enhance the safe operation of hunting in NSW.
Read more on the licence declarations for more information.
Hunters are required to hold a valid hunting licence if they are hunting on public land, or if they are hunting native or non-indigenous game birds on private land.
A condition of holding a game hunting licence is compliance with the regulations.
Game hunting licence holders must carry their 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 licence holder loses, damages or misplaces their licence they can apply for a new one (fees apply).
Individuals over the age of 12 and under the age of 18 can apply for a standard game hunting licence, however they must hunt under the close personal supervision of a licensed person who is at least 18 years old.
Both the young hunter and supervising hunter must hold a licence (of the same type with the same endorsements) as well as written permission to hunt, however only the supervising hunter is required to carry a GPS device.
Individuals under 18 years are not eligible to hold a hunting guide or commercial hunter's licence.
Anyone who seeks to use a firearm on public land must hold a NSW Restricted Game Hunting Licence with the firearms category as well as a firearms licence issued by an Australian state or territory agency.
If a hunter under 18 years is using a firearm, they must hold a Minors Firearms Training Permit as well as a game hunting licence. Minor's firearms permits are issued by the NSW Police Force Firearms Registry.
A hunter must not hunt a game animal that is fleeing from fire or smoke, or light a fire for the purpose of flushing out or hunting a game animal.
Professional licence holders are exempt from this clause.
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 issues written permission to game hunting licence holders on behalf of other land managers such as the Forestry Corporation of NSW.
If a hunter holds a NSW restricted game hunting licence (R-licence), they are able to apply for written permission to hunt on certain public lands.
A copy of the written permission to hunt must be carried at all times when hunting (either digitally or physically) 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.
Following a hunt on declared public land, licence holders are required to submit a harvest return within 30 days. Harvest returns help DPI monitor hunter effort as well as diseases in animals and other notifications.
The following must not be used while hunting animals on declared public land:
Motor vehicles must not be used to hunt, or to cause, permit or assist in the hunting of a game animal, on declared public hunting land. However, this rule does not apply if a dog is being used to search for game while it is tied up, caged or otherwise restrained.
A motor vehicle is defined as a vehicle that is propelled by a motor that forms part of the vehicle. However, this definition does not include a motorised wheelchair that is used by a person with a disability that prevents them from hunting on foot.
Special conditions apply to game hunting licence holders when hunting game animals in NSW.
When hunting game birds, licence holders must not use:
Hunters must have permission from a Native Game Bird Management (Owner/Occupier) Licence holder to be able to hunt native game birds on the licence holder's land.
Where a hunter has permission, they must comply with species allocations that are attached to the landholder's licence as well as any instructions of the property owner.
Native game birds must not be hunted at night, unless:
Commercial and professional licence holders are exempt from this clause.
All dogs being used to hunt must:
These requirements are in addition to the special conditions for hunting pigs and other game animals using dogs as well as the requirements of the Game Hunting Licence Code of Practice and Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979.
If a person is hunting pigs using a dog:
Hunters targeting pigs using dogs at night on public land must also comply with the written permission conditions.
A person targeting native or non-indigenous game birds may only use a dog to locate, flush, point or retrieve the birds.
If a person is hunting deer using a dog: