Only Restricted Game Hunting Licence (R-Licence) holders are eligible to hunt on public land in NSW.
Follow these steps to get licensed and hunt on public land in NSW:
Download the Hunt NSW app! Licence holders can search the Apple App Store or Google Play to download Hunt NSW, a mobile app for NSW Game Hunting Licence holders. The free app is integrated with the Online licence holder portal, with access to automatically updated hunting maps, keeping you on the go while you’re out hunting. Login using your licence number and security PIN after downloading to access these features.
The below permission conditions apply to all public lands that:
You must comply with the following general written permission conditions each time you hunt on public land under the terms of your R-Licence and written permission issued by the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI).
Breaching any of these conditions is an offence and a range of penalties apply.
|1.||Interference with operations||You must not interfere with or impede any operations when you are hunting.|
|2.||Signs, notices and barriers||
You must obey the directions of any sign, notice or barrier encountered when hunting.|
You must not remove or deface any sign, notice or barrier.
|3.||Rights of other users||You must not obstruct or impede the right of any other person while you are hunting.|
|4.||Written permission details||
You must not provide false information when applying for your written permission. |
You may only hunt in accordance with the information you provided during your written permission application (this includes details of vehicles and dogs).
If the details listed on your written permission change before your hunt, you must amend your written permission with the new information and download an updated version.
|5.||Intention to hunt||
You must not obtain a written permission unless you intend to hunt on the dates you have selected for the permission. |
If you are unable to hunt on the dates of a written permission you have been issued, you must amend or cancel your written permission.
|6.||Closures||You must not hunt during a public land closure. It’s your responsibility to know whether there is a closure in force before you hunt. This information is available on the Forestry Corporation of NSW (FCNSW) website (www.forestrycorporation.com.au/visit/closures) and NPWS website (https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/alerts/alerts-list).|
|7.||Fires||Total fire bans|
You must not hunt when there is a Total Fire Ban in place for that region. It’s your responsibility to know whether there is a Total Fire Ban in force in that region before you hunt. This information is available on the Rural Fire Service (RFS) website (www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/fire-information/fdr-and-tobans).
Solid fuel fire bans
You must not use a solid fuel fire if a solid fuel fire ban is in force for that public land. It’s your responsibility to know whether there is a solid fuel fire ban in place. This information is available on the FCNSW website (www.forestrycorporation.com.au/visit/solid-fuel-fire-bans).
Hazard reduction burns
You must not hunt in an area of public land if a hazard reduction burn is taking place. It’s your responsibility to know whether there is a hazard reduction burn in the area you intend to hunt. This information is available on the RFS website (www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/fire-information/hazard-reductions).
|8.||Possession of firearms and hunting equipment on public land||
Your written permission allows you to be in possession of hunting equipment on public land that your permission is issued for. You may legally have your hunting equipment from one whole day before your permission starts, through to one whole day after your permission ends, provided
the hunting equipment is stored and not readily accessible.|
Your written permission authorises you to hunt using specific methods on public land. The hunting equipment in your possession must match the categories approved on your R-Licence as well as the hunting methods approved on your written permission.
To possess and use a firearm on public land, you must hold a current firearms licence issued by your state agency that is endorsed for the category of firearm you are using. To possess and use a firearm, your R-Licence must be endorsed for the 'firearms' category.
You must not possess firearms and/or hunting equipment (including bows, traps, nets, snares, poisons, explosives, spears and other hunting devices) unless you have written permission to hunt using that equipment.
You must not allow any person who does not have a written permission to take possession of your firearms, bows or hunting equipment whilst you are on public land.
|9.||Transportation and storage of firearms|
When not actively hunting and not in your immediate possession all firearms must be stored in accordance with the following provisions:
- Firearms must be locked away (either in a locked vehicle or other locked storage device) and not readily accessible.
- All reasonable precautions must be taken to ensure that firearms are stored in such a way so that they cannot be lost or stolen.
- Firearms must not be accessible to any person who does not have written permission to hunt using firearms.
- Firearms must not be accessible to any person who does not have a firearms licence or permit authorising them to be in possession of a firearm.
When transporting or conveying a firearm in a motor vehicle (including a motorbike):
- Firearms must not be loaded with any ammunition (this includes any magazine that is fitted to the firearm).
- Firearms must not be visible from outside the vehicle.
- All ammunition (including any detachable magazine loaded with ammunition) must be stored in a locked receptacle, separate to the firearm.
|10.||Transportation and storage of bows and other hunting equipment||
When not actively hunting and not in your immediate possession all bows and hunting equipment:|
- Must be locked away (either in a locked vehicle or other locked storage device) and not readily accessible.
- Must not be accessible to any person who does not have written permission to hunt using that equipment.
|11.||Hunting areas and exclusion zones|
You may only hunt on land that is identified as a hunting area on your DPI hunting map. These maps may also specify the methods allowed in specific hunting areas. You must not hunt in areas marked as exclusion zones.
General hunting exclusion zones
General hunting exclusion zones are marked on your written permission and DPI hunting map as areas where hunting is not permitted.
You are allowed to travel through a general hunting exclusion zone if you hold a written permission. Before traversing the exclusion zone, all firearms must be unloaded and ammunition stored separately from the firearm, arrows must be placed in an appropriate container and all hunting dogs must be restrained or confined.
Total public exclusion zones
Total public exclusion zones are marked on your written permission and DPI hunting map as areas where hunting is not permitted. Signs are placed at each road entrance into a total public exclusion zone. The signs advise that only authorised people are able to enter those areas.
You must not enter or travel through a total public exclusion zone at any time.
Temporary hunting exclusion zones and other sign−posted area
Temporary hunting exclusion zones may not be identified on your written permission or DPI hunting map. You must observe all temporary exclusion zone signs and must not hunt in that zone. All operational signage must be adhered to as well.
You are allowed to travel through a temporary hunting exclusion zone or other sign-posted area. Before traversing the exclusion zone, all firearms must be unloaded and ammunition stored separately from the firearm, arrows must be placed in an appropriate container and all hunting dogs must be restrained or confined.
Infrastructure and asset exclusions
Infrastructure and asset exclusions may not be identified on your written permission or DPI hunting map.
You must not hunt within 100 metres of any occupied residence, dwelling, fire tower or building located on public land or located on land neighbouring public land.
You must not hunt within 100 metres of any radio tower, transmission tower, quarry or pump house located on public land.
Perpetual and crown leasehold exclusion zones
Leasehold hunting exclusion zones are marked on your written permission and DPI hunting map as areas where hunting is not permitted.
You are not permitted to access, travel through or hunt in a marked leasehold hunting exclusion unless you have written permission from the leaseholder in addition to a valid written permission issued by NSW DPI to hunt on that public land.
You may only hunt using a firearm or bow during day-time, being from 30 minutes before sunrise through to 30 minutes after sunset.|
You may hunt with a dog during day-time only if ‘dogs (day-time)’ is specified as an available hunting method on your written permission.
|13.||Night-time hunting (dogs only)||
You may hunt with a dog during night-time only if ‘dogs (night-time)’ is specified as an available hunting method on your written permission. |
When hunting with dogs at night you must attach a form of illumination to each free ranging hunting dog.
You must not use any spot or search light from a vehicle when hunting at night.
Firearms and bows are not permitted to be used when hunting with dogs at night. Firearms and bows must be locked away and not readily accessible at all times when you are hunting with dogs at night.
|14.||Mandatory use of a Global Positioning System (GPS) device||
You must carry an operational Global Positioning System (GPS) device at all times while hunting on public land.|
Minor hunters (under 18 years of age) are exempt from this requirement as they must hunt in the company of an adult licence holder who must carry a GPS.
Your GPS device must be loaded with current maps that show the hunting and exclusion zones for the area you are hunting, downloaded from the DPI website.
You must be able to show your current position on the device at all times while hunting.
|15.||Blaze orange clothing||
You must wear an item of blaze orange at all times while hunting. |
The item must be worn externally on the upper part of your body and must be visible from all sides.
The blaze orange item can be a:
- buff/neck warmer.
|16.||Use of vehicles|
You must not drive or park unregistered vehicles (including motorcycles and ATV’s) on public land at any time.
Unregistered vehicles must not be used for hunting on public land at any time. Unless otherwise sign-posted, you must not exceed 60 km/h when driving a motor vehicle (including a motorbike) on any sealed or unsealed road.
|17.||Sighting in and target practice||You must not sight-in or target practice with firearms or archery equipment. This includes shooting at clay targets, trees, signs or other objects.|
|18.||Tree stands||You must not use a tree stand for hunting.|
|19.||Use of drones||
You are permitted to use drones to assist in hunting. |
When using a drone for hunting, you must operate in accordance with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) licensing and regulations.
You must not fly a drone within 200 metres of a harvesting operation or interfere with any other operation when hunting on public land.
You must not fly within 5 nautical miles of any fire or other emergency service operation.
You must not harass, impede or unnecessarily disturb any other hunter, public land user or neighbour when using a drone to hunt.
|20.||1080 wild dog and fox poison||
1080 wild dog and fox poison baits may be present at any time on public land. |
Hunters must not interfere with any 1080 baits or equipment.
Hunting with dogs is permitted at the hunter's own risk.
|21.||Livestock on public land||Domestic stock (including ear−tagged goats and pigs) may be present in declared hunting areas. Livestock must not be harassed, harmed or unnecessarily disturbed.|
|22.||Rubbish and toilet waste||
You must keep all rubbish in a container or bag when hunting. You must take all rubbish with you when leaving.|
Toilet waste and toilet paper may be left on public land but only if you dig a hole and bury all toilet waste and toilet paper to a depth of at least 15 centimetres.