What is illegal hunting ?

People intending to hunt need to make sure that they are familiar with the laws and are not hunting illegally.

Those found to be doing the wrong thing or behaving irresponsibly can be fined or prosecuted, have their equipment seized and / or lose their Game and Firearms Licences.

Forfeited equipment may be crushed and destroyed.

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Illegal hunting includes:

  • hunting without the appropriate license
  • not securing guns appropriately while transporting them
  • hunting at the wrong time of day or the wrong time of year, there are some species that can only be hunted at certain times.
  • carrying spotlights after dark in recognised deer habitat
  • shooting game on or across private property without permission from the land owner.

Important  responsible and ethical behaviours include:

  • ensuring the animal is killed swiftly and humanely
  • harvesting as much meat as possible
  • ensuring carcasses are not left in public view, near walkways, roads or near waterways.

There are approximately 60,000 hunters in Victoria and most of these hunters behave legally and responsibly.

Hunters need to make sure they’re doing the right thing and acting responsibly.

This means:

  • only hunting in areas where hunting is permitted
  • not hunting at night
  • use the correct type of firearm, with the minimum calibre for the animal your hunting i.e large deer have a higher calibre requirement than smaller deer.
  • make sure you have a current Game Licence
  • Stick to the seasons, bag limits and prescribed hunting methods.

Hunters should also remember to always follow the firearms safety rules and never fire at anything that they can’t identify beyond all doubt.

We will do our best to assist hunters when trying to identify areas that are available to hunting, but hunters need to do some research too.

We recommend that hunters:

  • Identify the general area that you wish to hunt
  • Go to the GMA website and obtain a map of the area
  • When you’re on the ground, talk to Park Rangers to ensure you know where the boundaries are
  • If you intend to use a firearm, check that firearms can be used in the area – as they may be prohibited for safety reasons

We ask all hunters to do their research. If you are unsure, contact your local DELWP or Parks Victoria office to confirm that hunting is permitted in your intended location.

Where to legally hunt

The illegal spotlighting of deer is a serious public safety issue. This video explains the penalties for illegal spotlighting.

Page last updated: 17 Sep 2021