Hog Deer hunting
Hog Deer (Axis porcinus) are a popular and highly valued game species in Victoria, with licensed hunters permitted to harvest one male (stag) and one female (hind) during an annual hunting season. The annual season occurs during the month of April, which is timed to minimise impact on breeding productivity. Victoria is one of the few places where wild populations of Hog Deer can be hunted free-range on public land.
If you are planning to hunt Hog Deer during the season you must now register for an online MyGL account and have a valid Victorian Game Licence endorsed for deer to be able to order your Hog Deer tags.
If you have been successfully drawn out of the annual Hog Deer ballot (online entries between August and November each year), specific information can be found on this page for hunting Snake Island, Blond Bay and Boole Poole.
All hunters drawn in the ballot must attend a safety briefing prior to the hunt.
For Blond Bay and Boole Poole ballot, the briefing takes place on the first day of the ballot period from 8.30 to 10.30 at: East Gippsland ADA, Rowing Club Rooms, Howitt Park, Bairnsdale. Access is from McEacharn Street.
For Snake Island ballot, the briefing takes place on the Sunday before the start of the ballot period from 10.00 to 12.00 at: Old Ferry Terminal, Lewis Street, Port Welshpool VIC 3965
Government agencies may conduct planned burns near areas you are thinking of hunting. If you want to see if planned burns will be occurring on, or near, public land you will be visiting, please take a look at the Forest Fire Management Victoria website.
Please also read the information sheets below for more details on general Hog Deer hunting.
(Hog Deer photo by Reg Gordon)
Each year, the Blond Bay Hog Deer Advisory Group conducts a ballot to select hunters to hunt for free-ranging Hog Deer on Blond Bay State Game Reserve, the Boole Poole Peninsula and now Snake Island. These areas are prime Hog Deer habitats with good populations of Hog Deer. You can only hunt Hog Deer in these locations if you are selected from the ballot.
Entry in the ballot commences around August each year and closes at the end of November. The GMA website hosts online ballot application during this period. The balloted hunters are drawn in December and advised of their success via mail. Before these hunters formally accept their ballot offer they are made aware of the challenges associated with a five-day, self-sustained wilderness hunt for Hog Deer. Two of the locations (Snake Island and Boole Poole Peninsula) are so remote that they can only be reached by boat.
Hog Deer hunting on Snake Island is restricted to certain areas, low numbers of hunters and specified ballot periods between February and May. An information sheet for Snake Island balloted hunters and non-hunters has been developed to provide information about safe, responsible and legal hunting on Snake Island.
Other balloted hunting area maps
Each year, the Blond Bay Hog Deer Advisory Group (BBHDAG) conducts a ballot to select hunters to hunt for free-ranging Hog Deer on Blond Bay State Game Reserve, sections of the Boole Poole Peninsula (Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park) and Snake Island. These areas are otherwise closed to hunting, but balloted hunting for Hog Deer is allowed through permits issued by the GMA and Parks Victoria.
Applications for the 2021 ballot to hunt Hog Deer opens on 1st August 2020 and closes on 30th November 2020.
Hunters originally drawn and confirmed to hunt during the 2020 balloted periods but had their hunts cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions will be automatically offered positions in the 2021 ballot.
Updated information for hunters about the 2021 Hog Deer balloted hunts will be available in early-January 2021.
About the Ballot
Non-refundable entry fee to the ballot is $25.00 AUD, payable to the BBHDAG
All deer are free-ranging
If drawn, your hunt will occur on one of three reserves located in the Gippsland region of Victoria. These reserves are managed by Parks Victoria and include:
- Blond Bay State Game Reserve, near Bengworden
- Boole Poole Peninsula (part of the Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park), near Metung
- Snake Island, near Port Welshpool.
The number of people hunting during each balloted period between February 2021 and June 2021 will be limited.
All hunters are required to take any harvested deer to a checking station.
Please read the fact sheets on this page before deciding to enter the ballot.
- Only one application is allowed per hunter.
- Multiple entries received from the same person may see your entry removed from the ballot draw.
- To ensure a sustainable harvest, the sex and number of deer to be harvested by successful balloted hunters, will be specified under authorisation (this can change from year-to-year).
- Camping is only permitted at specified areas within each reserve.
- Successful hunters will be drawn for a specified allocated period; another period will not be made available on request.
- Some of the locations, like Boole Poole and specifically Snake Island, are remote without vehicle access and require a boat and operator that can handle difficult coastal waters to access the reserve. In addition, hunters must be self-sufficient during the balloted hunting period (up to 5 days) and physically capable. Hunters should be aware of these requirements and their personal limitations before accepting a hunt. Hunters drawn for Snake Island are encouraged to read the Game Management Authority (GMA) Fact Sheet on ‘Balloted Hog Deer hunting on Snake Island’ at gma.vic.gov.au.
- Hunters must ensure that any equipment is immediately removed from the reserve at the completion of their hunt. If sharing or providing equipment to other hunters, please ensure this is done outside of the reserve. People leaving equipment or rubbish on the reserve may face significant penalties from Parks Victoria or the GMA.
- Hunts are non-transferable.
- By entering the ballot you agree, that if successfully drawn, to your details being provided to the Australian Deer Association who will invite you to attend a hunter education weekend prior to the balloted hunt.
- By entering the ballot you agree, that if successfully drawn, to your details being provided to other hunters drawn in your period for safety and liaison purposes.
- By entering the ballot you agree, that if successfully drawn, to your name and town of residence being published on hunting and government websites and social media platforms.
- All hunters that are successfully drawn are required to attend a mandatory briefing by the GMA and Parks Victoria prior to hunting. You will be provided with your necessary authorizations and Hog Deer Tags at these briefings. You will also be required to present photographic dentification at these briefings.
- The BBHDAG reserves the right to remove a hunter from future ballot draws, should a successful and confirmed hunter fail to show at a briefing or fail to notify the BBHDAG of their non-attendance at least 14 days prior to their scheduled hunt.
The balloted hunts will be drawn by the BBHDAG on 17 December 2020.
Successful hunters will receive an email advising them of their balloted hunt date and period.
The Boole Poole Peninsula and Snake Island are remote wilderness areas and will require a high degree of self-sufficiency during the balloted hunting period (up to 5 days). You will be required to provide your own food, water, safety and camping gear. There is no road access to these areas, and access is by boat only. It may be possible to organise boat access with other hunters in your hunting period.
Hunters should be aware of these requirements and their own personal/physical limitations before accepting a hunt.
Updated information for the 2021 ballot will be available in early January 2021.
If you decide not to take your ballot position, it will go to the next person on the emergency list.
Hunters must obtain a pair of Hog Deer tags before they go hunting for Hog Deer in Victoria. The Hog Deer Season commences 30 minutes before sunrise on 1 April and ends 30 minutes after sunset on 30 April each year.
To order Hog Deer tags you must now register for an online MyGL account and have a valid Victorian Game Licence endorsed for deer.
Once ordered, you will receive an email confirming your order. Your tag package will be posted to you shortly after. Postage will begin in February each year. For any tag orders after the beginning of March, please allow 10 working days for delivery. The package will contain information on Hog Deer hunting and one male and one female tag (the April season bag limit is one male and one female Hog Deer per hunter).
It is therefore important that you plan your season in advance and order your tags at least two weeks before the season starts so that you have tags prior to the start of the season.
Late tag orders will mean you may miss the opening of the season and you will only be able to start hunting once you receive your tags in the mail.
Please remember to submit your Hog Deer Return Form online via MyGL within 28 days of the season ending. You do not have to return any unused tags at the end of the season, just dispose of them. Tags must not be defaced, altered or transferred to someone else.
Note: If you are successfully drawn from the Hog Deer ballot to hunt at Blond Bay, Boole Poole or Snake Island, you do not have to order tags online. You will be provided with tags at your pre-hunt briefing.
Page last updated: 18 Aug 2021