Feral animals are legal to bowhunt in all states of Australia except Tasmania. Native animal are illegal to hunt with a bow in all states of Australia. The legislation that applies to hunting is different in each Australian state. The onus is on the hunter to be aware of, and abide by, those laws that apply to them. The key to ALL lawful bowhunting in Australia is permission. By gaining the appropriate permission, be it on state controlled land via permit/licence or verbal or written permission for private property, you’ll get access to fantastic bowhunting opportunities and you will always be welcome back.
State by state bow hunting overview…
WA – Hunting with a bow is permitted only on private property with the appropriate permission. NO bowhunting is permitted on Crown Land, National parks or state controlled land. WA has excellent rabbit, fox and feral goat hunting opportunities. Feral cats are widespread and common. Feral pigs are very wide spread and are mostly found in low densities. Fallow and Red deer are widespread but are found in localised low density populations in the south west of the state. Donkey numbers are only second to those found in NT. Camels are widespread and in huge numbers in the remote WA deserts. Excellent bow fishing opportunities for shark, stingray and scaled fish are available beyond the 26th parallel.
VIC – Victoria issues inexpensive game licenses for taking feral species under the VIC Wildlife Act 1975. Bow hunting is also permitted on private property with appropriate permission. Hunting is also permitted on Crown land and in certain areas of State forest in accordance with the relevant state Acts and regulations. Victoria offers the best Australian deer hunting opportunities for Sambar. Fallow and Red deer are abundant too. It is the only place in the world where there is a huntable thriving population of Hog deer. Feral goats and pigs, plus rabbits, hare, feral cats and foxes in great numbers.
NT – Hunting is permitted on private property with appropriate permission and on particular areas of Crown land. These areas are gazetted as ‘Hunting Reserves’ and a $10 permit is required. Hunters from around the world visit the NT to hunt Buffalo and Banteng. Donkey, feral cats and pigs in good numbers too. There are goats and deer (Sambar) but their populations are localised. Camels are found lower down in the state – in central Australia. Thin numbers of foxes, rabbits and no Hare.
QLD – Hunting is permitted on private property where written permission has been given. Hunting is not permitted on Crown land, National parks or state controlled land. Feral goats, Chital, Rusa and Red deer. QLD also has Hare, feral cats, a few foxes and excellent bow fishing opportunities for shark, stingray and scaled fish. QLD is the number one state for feral pigs and hunters travel from around the world to experience the world class wild boar hunting it has on offer.
NSW – Hunting is only permitted where written permission has been granted, be it for private property or Crown land. There are over 400 declared State forests and Crown land areas available for hunting access under the Game Council NSW game hunting licence system. Access is available to all who hold a current R-licence and this can be obtain through a number of recognised hunting associations eg – Australian Bowhunters Assoc. Hare, rabbits, foxes, feral cats, feral goat and pigs are found in good numbers. Fallow deer in good numbers plus Red deer.
TAS – NO bowhunting is permitted on private property, Crown Land, National parks or State controlled land.
ACT – Hunting is permitted on private property where written permission has been given and on ACT controlled land with appropriate authorisation. Fallow, pigs, rabbits, feral cats and Hare are found within this territory.
SA – Hunting is permitted on private property with appropriate permission. SA has an excellent fallow deer herd and their fox density is the highest in Australia. Hare, Feral cat, feral goats and camels in the North of the state.
Permission to hunt…
Not all states allow verbal permission to hunt lawfully eg- NSW requires written permission from the landowner. So do your homework. One of the greatest thing about gaining permission to hunt a given property is that you’ll have, in most cases, pretty much exclusive access. Over time you will create good friendships with the landowners and they will be more than happy to have you around. Little things count and permission should never be taken for granted. Always try to be a part of the solution. If you’re not – you’re part of the problem. Bring the paper, milk, lend a hand…
Paid hunting opportunities…
There are many Australian hunting outfitters that offer free range hunting opportunities for all feral animal species except for hog deer. Check out the bowhunting magazines and Google. Speak to hunters who’ve been with the outfitter you plan to go with. Hunting with a good outfitter means you’ll have access to the best quality country for the game you are targeting. You’ll have more opportunities on trophy animals in one week than you would ever see in five years of roaming thinly populated country that holds the same game.