Balloted hunting in NSW

Balloted hunts: Sunday 1 March 2020 - Sunday 3 May 2020


Some NSW State forests are more popular with R-Licensed hunters than others. As a result, bookings in these popular forests can be sometimes hard to secure, especially during the peak hunting period of March and April each year. To ensure hunter access and participation is managed sustainably and contributes positively to the NSW economy, the DPI Game Licensing Unit administers balloted hunting in some of these higher profile forests. This ensures fair and equitable access for all R-Licensed hunters.

After evaluating booking patterns and access availability, the DPI Game Licensing Unit is applying balloted arrangements in 2020 in the following NSW State forests:

  • Maragle South State forest
  • Mannus State forest
  • Mannus State forest - Bow hunting only ballot

These NSW State forests are removed from the open booking system during the balloted months, March and April each year. Normal bookings for R-Licensed hunters resume in early May each year.

Only individuals who hold a current NSW Restricted Game Hunting Licence (including minor R-Licences) are eligible for these ballots.

Registrations for all the ballots are open from Monday 4 November 2019 until 11.59pm on 2 December 2019.

There is no fee to enter any of the ballots, however you must only register for each ballot once, either as an individual or in a youth hunt. Duplicate registrations will be disqualified.

Register by following the links below to the EventBrite registration pages:

About balloted hunts

Maragle South State forest ballot

  • March and April only
  • Each ballot period is for four (4) days
  • A maximum of three (3) hunters are permitted to hunt at any one time (except for during the youth periods)
  • 16 ballot periods are available for allocation and therefore a total of 51 Written Permissions are issued
  • Three (3) ballot periods are reserved for youth hunts

Mannus State forest ballot

  • March and April only
  • Each ballot period is for four (4) days
  • A maximum of four (4) hunters are permitted to hunt at any one time (except for during the youth periods)
  • 16 ballot periods are available for allocation and therefore a total of 64 Written Permissions are issued
  • Three (3) ballot periods are reserved for youth hunts

Mannus State forest - bow hunting only ballot

  • Bow hunting only - no other hunting methods permitted
  • March and April only
  • Each ballot period is for four (4) days during March and April
  • A maximum of two (2) hunters are permitted to hunt at any one time (except for during the youth periods)
  • 16 ballot periods are available for allocation and therefore a total of 32 Written Permissions are issued
  • Three (3) ballot periods are reserved for youth hunts

Further requirements

To allow a written permission to be issued to successful hunters, R-Licence holders must have completed their additional online training and acknowledged the State forest signs advisory.

Normal booking rules apply. As R-Licence holders may only have two concurrent Written Permissions at any time, hunters must also ensure they have no outstanding harvest returns and no more than one hunt booked.

Youth hunts

Written Permissions are reserved for youth hunts in three ballot periods:

  • Period 5: Tuesday 17 March - Friday 20 March
  • Period 12: Tuesday 14 April - Friday 17 April
  • Period 14: Wednesday 22 April - Saturday 25 April

Note: All youth hunt ballot period dates are the same for each ballot

One Written Permission is allocated to an eligible youth holding a minor's Restricted Game Hunting Licence and the other is allocated to an adult holding a standard Restricted Game Hunting Licence. The minor hunter must always hunt in the company of the fully licensed adult hunter according to the conditions of their licence.

To register for a youth hunt, the primary applicant (adult) must register for the ballot, indicate they are registering as part of a group hunt and create a name for your group (e.g. the primary applicant’s (adult) last name). The secondary applicant (junior) must then register using the same group name.

2020 balloted hunt periods

Period 1
Sunday 1 March - 
Wednesday 4 March
Period 2
Thursday 5 March -
Sunday 8 March
Period 3
Monday 9 March - 
Thursday 12 March
Period 4
Friday 13 March -
Monday 16 March
Period 5 (youth)
Tuesday 17 March - 
Friday 20 March
Period 6
Saturday 21 March -
Tuesday 24 March
Period 7
Wednesday 25 March - 
Saturday 28 March
Period 8
Sunday 29 March - 
Wednesday 1 April
Period 9
Thursday 2 April -
Sunday 5 April
Period 10 
Monday 6 April -
Thursday 9 April
Period 11
Friday 10 April -
Monday 13 April
Period 12 (youth)
Tuesday 14 April - 
Friday 17 April
Period 13 
Saturday 18 April -
Tuesday 21 April
Period 14 (youth)
Wednesday 22 April - 
Saturday 25 April
Period 15
Sunday 26 April - 
Wednesday 29 April
Period 16
Thursday 30 April - 
Sunday 3 May

Terms & conditions

  • All additional online training must be completed and there must be no outstanding harvest returns and no more than one booked hunt for each applicant.
  • By entering any of the 2020 ballots, applicants agree to the collection and retention of personal information and for NSW DPI to apply for and issue Written Permission to hunt.
  • Hunters must observe their Written Permission conditions, including all standard rules and regulations as well as the rules governing this ballot.
  • Hunters will receive official notification if successfully drawn in any one of these ballots.

More information

If you have any questions about the ballot, contact our Wildlife Management Team on ballotedhunting@dpi.nsw.gov.au or 02 6051 7772.


2019 ballot statistics

No. of Written Permissions available

115

Total no. of ballot registrations

1,463

No. of eligible ballot registrations

1,063

Registration error rate

27.3%

No. of individual hunter registrations

1,444

No. of youth group ballot registrations

19

Chance of drawing a Written Permission

10.8%

Hunters who did not meet entry requirements such as completing online training and submitting harvest returns were removed from the ballot before the draw.

2018 ballot statistics

No. of Written Permissions available

115

Total no. of ballot registrations

851

No. of eligible ballot registrations

734

Registration error rate

13.7%

No. of individual hunter registrations

829

No. of youth group ballot registrations

11

Chance of drawing a Written Permission

15.7%

There was a 28% error rate among hunters who were drawn in the ballot - these hunters did not meet the eligibility requirements relating to harvest returns and additional training.

Successful hunters who did not meet these requirements were removed from the ballot and replaced by hunters drawn from the emergency list.

2017 ballot statistics

No. of Written Permissions available

115

Total no. of ballot registrations

714

No. of eligible ballot registrations

661

Registration error rate

8%

No. of individual hunter registrations

368

No. of youth group ballot registrations

173

Chance of drawing a Written Permission

22%

  • 13 periods were comprised of one group with three individual hunters
  • Nine periods were comprised of two groups with one individual hunter
  • One period was comprised of solely individual hunters
  • 53 Written Permissions were issued to individuals
  • 62 Written Permissions were issued to groups
  • In two of the three youth periods (5, 11 and 14) a group from the main ballot was also successful
  • One youth group was successful in the main ballot, in addition to the three successful youth ballot groups.