Hog Deer Research

The GMA is working with the Hog Deer hunting community to better understand the abundance and distribution of Hog Deer in Victoria.

You can help by collecting tissue samples from harvested deer and making them available for genetic analysis. Understanding the genetics of the populations will allow us to identify the movement between populations.

The data gathered will provide baseline information on Victoria’s Hog Deer populations and will help us to monitor any changes in abundance and distribution in the future. This information will also help us to understand how Hog Deer respond to management actions or changes in the environment, climate, disease or other factors.

How to collect Hog Deer tissue samples,

what to do with them and how we will use them

Take a zip lock bag or sealed container and a permanent marker pen with you into the field.

Collect a sample of liver from a recently harvested Hog Deer (approximately 1cm x1cm x1cm). If liver is not available, a skin sample could be collected instead, however, liver is preferred. Muscle is of less value but will also be acceptable if liver or skin is not available. Make sure that the sample is not contaminated with soil, hair or gut contents. 

When you collect the sample, use a clean knife each time to avoid contamination. Clean the knife using detergent and water or use a 10% bleach to water solution. Be sure to rinse the knife with clean water after cleaning with detergent or bleach.  Do not use alcohol or alcohol wipes to clean the knife.

Place the sample into a plastic zip-lock bag or secure container and refrigerate/put on ice as soon as possible after collection and then freeze the sample.


On the zip lock bag or on a sticker on a secure container, record the following: your Hog Deer tag number, the sex (male/female) of the animal, whether it was an adult or juvenile, the location where the animal was harvested (GPS coordinates/closest town to within 10km, or “location undisclosed”), the date it was harvested. The exact details of harvest location you provide will remain confidential.

It is best to record the location that the animal was harvested using GPS coordinates.  If that isn’t possible, recording the nearest town to within a maximum of 10 km away is OK.  Any further and the data will not be of any value.  If you don’t want to record the location, just write “location undisclosed”. The GPS data will only be used for research purposes.


You can freeze the sample straight away if a freezer is available.  If you can’t freeze the sample prior to attending a checking station, that’s OK as long as the sample is kept refrigerated or on ice.

Take the refrigerated/frozen sample to your nearest checking station within the required 24-hour period with your harvested Hog Deer. The checking station operator will collect the sample when you take the animal there for processing. A list of checking stations, the hours of operation and contact details can be found at www.gma.vic.gov.au.


The information you provide will help assess the abundance and distribution of Hog Deer populations across Victoria. This will help us to better manage the populations to ensure they remain healthy, sustainable and in balance with other management priorities. The exact details of harvest location you provide will remain confidential.