Many deer species were introduced to Victoria by the Acclimatisation Society in the mid-1800s and some have become established. Others have established through illegal releases or as escapees from deer farms. Of these, Sambar, Fallow and Red Deer are well established in Victoria.
In order to manage game species effectively it is important to quantify the numbers harvested. Each year the Game Management Authority conducts phone surveys to estimate the number of deer, duck and quail harvested in the state.
The following reports detail the results of the those surveys.
2020 Victorian deer harvest report (Full Report)
2019 Victorian deer harvest report (Full Report)
2018 Victorian Hog Deer harvest report (Full Report)
2018 Victorian deer harvest report (PDF version)
Estimates of the 2017 deer harvest in Victoria (PDF version)
2017 Victorian Hog Deer harvest report (PDF version)
Estimates of harvest for deer, duck and quail from 1985 to 2015: Combining mail and telephone survey results (PDF version)
Estimate of deer harvest in Victoria 2016 (PDF Version)
2016 Deer harvest summary sheet (PDF Version)
Results of 2016 balloted Hog Deer hunting at Blond Bay State Game Reserve and Boole Poole Peninsula (PDF version)
Wilsons Promontory National Park Hog Deer Control Program Report 2016 (PDF Version)
Estimate of harvest for deer in Victoria 2014 and 2015 (PDF version)
Wilsons Promontory National Park Hog Deer Control Program Report 2015
Hog Deer checking station Survey 2015
Estimates of harvest for deer, duck and quail in Victoria (PDF version)
Estimates of harvest for deer, duck and quail in Victoria (PDF version) (Word Version)
The GMA is currently conducting research into hound hunting for Sambar Deer in Victoria, in collaboration with the Australian Deer Association. The aim of the research is to better understand what drives the effectiveness and efficiency of hound hunting. This research relies on hunters collecting and providing the GMA with data including hound pack size and shooting distance, which we then compare to geographic data to help measure efficiency in particular locations. The information provided by hound hunters allows us to describe the various factors that influence hunt outcomes, such as hunt length. Hound hunting crews have volunteered to contribute to the research through the Australian Deer Association.
Previous research has relied on hunter surveys and measuring catch-per-unit-effort for the whole day, even if only part of the day was spent hunting. This research will provide greater insights on a more detailed scale and allow us to get a more accurate picture of the efficiency and effectiveness of hound hunting in Victoria.
It is anticipated that the research will conclude in late-2021.
The GMA is conducting research into the use of lead-free bullets for game deer hunting in Victoria.
The research is trialling the efficacy of commercially available lead-free bullets to determine if they are comparable to traditional lead-based products used to hunt Victorian deer species.
Lead-free products are becoming more common in the market and some countries are moving away from the use of toxic lead in bullets. This is largely due to the negative impacts of lead on the environment, scavenging wildlife (through ingestion of lead fragments in gut piles etc.) and human health (through ingestion of lead fragments in gut meat). While research has been conducted overseas to assess the efficacy of lead-free bullets (including some deer species that occur in Australia), no trials have been conducted in Australia, and many deer species hunted in Victoria have not been included in past assessments (e.g. Sambar Deer).
Hunters have volunteered to participate in the research through the Australian Deer Association. The research will contribute to knowledge in this area, on a global scale, while also providing new information for the Australian context.
It is anticipated that the research will conclude in late-2021.
Hog Deer research
Hog Deer (Axis porcinus porcinus) are a valued social resource and highly prized game species for many stakeholders in Victoria. However, they are introduced fauna and in some circumstances can contribute to negative impacts on native biodiversity. In addition, some landowners do not share the same appreciation for the deer or its intrinsic value due to the effects the deer may have on primary production. Therefore it is important to monitor this important species to ensure that it is managed sustainably.
This study estimated the abundance and distribution of Hog Deer across their range as well as investigate the genetics of the Hog Deer population to examine genetic diversity, population structure and connectivity between local populations, as well as effective population size.
The abundance and density of Hog Deer was estimated using data from 100 camera traps set at 50 sites across their range in coastal Gippsland from Lower Tarwin to Point Hicks during November and December 2018.
Read the study on Abundance and population genetics of Hog Deer
Parks Victoria, in partnership with the Australian Deer Association, Sporting Shooters Association of Australia (Vic Branch) and the Game Management Authority, conducted a trial Hog Deer control program at Wilsons Promontory National Park between 18-20 August 2015.
The program seeks to build knowledge and understanding of the impact of the population of Hog Deer on the Prom, its habitat and endangered and vulnerable plant species within the park. It was developed to ensure everything is being done to protect and preserve the health of Wilsons Promontory and that it remains a world-class national park and tourism attraction.
The reports which summarise the data collected during the control programs can be found in the harvest report section of the GMA website.
2020 Blond Bay ballot hunt report from the Advisory Group (BBHDAG)
This information below relates to the 2019 ballot and is based on the data collected at checking stations and from the hunter Hog Deer return forms. As interest in Hog Deer hunting continues to grow, accurate data is critical to ensure hog deer hunting remains sustainable.
A Hog Deer Control trial was conducted at Wilsons Promontory National Park in 2015. This collaborative effort between Parks Victoria, the Game Management Authority, Australian Deer Association, Sporting Shooters Association of Australia (Victoria), Deakin University and other research and government agencies is summarised in this video. Fourty-two deer were removed from 18 to 20 August and monitoring will continue to build knowledge and understanding of the impact these deer are having on this iconic national park.
Page last updated: 21 Sep 2021