Deer cannot be recreationally hunted at night or with the use of spotlights.
A spotlight is defined as any source of artificial light, infrared device, night vision, or heat-detecting device.
A spotlight does not include:
- A domestic light used for domestic purposes. This could include such lights as torches, lanterns, and work lights used around camp.
- An emergency light used for emergency purposes, such as handheld torches or headlamps used to navigate out of the bush or 12-volt lights used when working on your vehicle.
- A light fitted to your vehicle that complies with the Road Safety (Vehicles) Regulations 2009. This covers all spotlights and work lights that are fitted on your vehicle in a legal manner.
Spotlights in Recognised Deer Habitat
Hunters travelling in vehicles between 30 minutes after sunset until 30 minutes before sunrise in recognised deer habitat can be in possession of a firearm and spotlight as long as:
The firearm is unloaded and stored in a securely fastened case or container (e.g. gun bag or gun case) that is stowed in the boot or storage area of a sedan, dual cab, or wagon and is not readily accessible to any occupant of the vehicle.
- For utes or single cabs, the firearm is unloaded and stored in a securely fastened case or container and stowed in a part of the vehicle not readily accessible to any occupant of the vehicle. The best approach here is to fit a lockable steel box to the tray and store the firearm in there.
- Any ammunition is stored separately and is in a part of the vehicle not readily accessible. A glove box cannot be used to store ammunition in recognised deer habitat.
- Any spotlight in or on the vehicle is not in use.
Spotlights and Firearms When on Foot
Hunters on foot in recognised deer habitat between 30 minutes after sunset and 30 minutes before sunrise in recognised deer habitat can use an artificial light (e.g. torch or headlamp) for on-foot navigation purposes as long as:
- The firearm and magazine is unloaded, meaning all cartridges must be removed from the firearm and any magazine.
- Ammunition is stored in a closed case or container. This could include a backpack or cartridge case.
- The artificial light is not fitted to any part of the firearm or a scope or other fitting attached to the firearm.
Exemptions From Spotlight Regulations
- Landowners/occupiers or their agents who are using a spotlight for the purpose of controlling pest animals to a distance of 250 metres outside the property boundary.
- Landowners or their agents controlling deer (not including Hog Deer) that are causing damage on their property, acting in accordance with an Order under the Wildlife Act 1975.