Hunting pest animals is a very popular pastime in Victoria. Not only does pest animal hunting provide a recreational challenge it also contributes to reducing pest animal numbers in the environment.
In 2013, licensed Victorian game hunters contributed about $59 million dollars to the Victorian economy hunting rabbits, goats, wild pigs, foxes and wild dogs to name a few of the most popular pest species.
Spotlighting for pest animals on private land (with permission of the owner) is a popular and effective way to hunt pest animals. However, hunters need to be even more cautious when applying the Firearms Safety Code at night as judging safe direction and firing zones becomes very difficult if you do not know the property or surrounding area intimately. Therefore, hunting on private property at night should only occur on a property you know well, or in the company of someone who is very familiar with the property and its neighbouring surrounds.
Many hunters also make good use of the pest animals they hunt by transforming what is considered a pest into a wholesome meal for friends and family as is often the case with rabbits, goats and pigs.
While a game licence is not required to hunt pest animals, some hunters will need to get a Registration of interest to hunt pest animals on Crown land in order to have a genuine reason to obtain a firearm with which to hunt pest animals. The Registration of interest to hunt pest animals on Crown land can be obtained by contacting the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning on 136 186.