There are many ways that game hunters with appropriate game licences and permits can access public land to hunt game and non-game species within Tasmania.
Different areas of public land are managed by different organisations including Parks and Wildlife Service (reserve land and crown land), Hydro Tasmania and Sustainable Timber Tasmania.
This page aims to provide information on how you can gain permission to hunt on permitted areas of public land.
Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS)
Hunting may take place on certain PWS Reserved land, as well as Crown land managed under the Crown Lands Act 1976 and Future Potential Production Forest Land managed under the Forestry (Rebuilding the Forest Industry) Act 2014. The process for seeking permission to hunt on these classes of PWS managed land may differ depending on the land tenure, as detailed below:
Fallow deer hunting by licenced hunters is permitted on selective PWS Reserved land during the open season. Such hunting is administered through Game Services Tasmania (GST). Access to reserved land for deer hunting during the adult male season is allocated through a ballot system with applications opening in December and closing in January each year. For more information please see Tasmanian Public Land Deer Hunting Ballot.
The antlerless season is allocated through a booking system and can be accessed from the Deer Ballot website.
In 2021, 10 reserves including some Hydro Tasmania (HT) managed land are available to hunters through the above means. These include:
- Great Western Tiers Conservation Area: Lagoon Plain Block
- Top Marshes Conservation Area
- Five Mile Pinnacles Conservation Area
- Central Plateau Conservation Area: Brenton Rivulet block (PWS) and Mother Lord Plains block (HT)
- Great Western Tiers Conservation Area: Parson & Clerk Mountain Block (PWS)
- Great Lake Conservation Area: Tumbledown Creek block (PWS) and land known as Gunns Marsh surrounding Gunns Lake and Little Lake (HT) (Closed 21 April – 27 July 2020)
- Tooms Lake Conservation Area (closed 1 July - 28 February)
- Buxton River Conservation Area (closed 1 July - 28 February)
- St Pauls Regional Reserve (closed 1 July - 28 February)
- Castle Cary Regional Reserve (closed 1 July - 28 February)
For more information on the available reserves please see ballot reserve areas.
Duck hunting by licensed hunters is permitted during the open season on various areas of reserved land. At the beginning of each duck season the Department releases a Public Notice detailing the reserves available for duck hunting. Further details can be found on the Wildlife Management website.
Daytime wallaby hunting by licenced hunters is permitted during the open season within the Central Plateau Conservation Area (Breton Rivulet block, north and south of Lake Augusta Road and north of Lake Make Mackenzie Road), Great Lake Conservation Area (Tumbledown Creek block only), Waterhouse Conservation Area and the Mt Cameron Regional Reserve. Wallaby hunters should contact PWS directly for permission to do so.
The hunter must present their current firearms licence and wallaby licence to the Northern PWS office, the hunter is then issued an annual Authority to hunt in specified areas of Reserved land from for the period of the wallaby season. On expiry of the Authority, hunters are required to complete their take return and return it to PWS.
Dogs are permitted in these areas for flushing wallabies with a maximum of two per person and six per hunting party.
There are several areas within the above Conservation and Reserve areas to which the following conditions apply:
- Shotguns only may be used to hunt wallaby in designated hunting zones to the western side of the Highland Lakes Road within the Central Plateau CA (including Lake Mackenzie) and the west side of the Poatina Road within the Great Lake CA.
- There are no restrictions on firearm type when hunting wallaby in designated hunting areas to the east of the Highland Lakes Road within the Central Plateau CA.
PWS Northern region contact is (03) 6777 2179 or PWS.AdminNorth@parks.tas.gov.au
Hunting enquiries on Crown land (including Future Potential Production Forest Land) can be directed to:
Parks & Wildlife Service
GPO Box 44, Hobart TAS 7001
Phone: (+613) 6169 9015
Once an application or enquiry is received, PWS Property Services (formerly Crown Land Services) undertakes a desktop assessment to determine the suitability of the location for hunting activities. This includes determining proximity to residential dwellings, or the public use of a particular site (eg community use for bushwalking or horse riding etc). It is also determined whether or not there are existing leases or licences issued to other parties at the location, or whether or not another use of the site has been authorised (eg such as an orienteering event etc.). Applications may also be referred to local police for feedback on the community use of a location, or a site’s suitability for the discharge of firearms.
Very few requests to hunt on Crown land are received. Enquiries that are received often relate to locations close to townships, which can be unsuitable. While hunting may occur on unallocated Crown land, as well as Crown land designated as Future Potential Production Forest land, nevertheless hunters are encouraged to access areas already identified and set aside as suitable for hunting. Potential hunters may be referred to the PWS’ Region to assist with identifying such locations.
Hydro Tasmania (HT)
Subject to complying with conditions, individuals are now permitted to hunt wild duck on designated land, lakes or waterways without the need to seek permission from HT.
Designated duck hunting areas are:
Duck hunting is limited to the abovementioned areas. HT may designate restricted areas within the boundaries of these areas from time to time. Shooting is strictly prohibited in any restricted area.
Duck hunting is not permitted at any other land or waterways managed by HT.
To be eligible to hunt on HT land, lakes or waterways, please ensure you:
- Have a valid Firearms Licence and Game Licence, and you must comply with the provisions of the Firearms Act 1996;
- Adopt safe shooting practices and abide by all directional signs and lawful instructions given by any authorised person;
- Hold Public Liability Insurance (supplied as part of your membership with a hunting association) and carry evidence of this with you at when hunting;
- Restrict vehicle access to existing tracks; and
- Cause no environmental harm or damage. If damage is caused, it must be reported to Hydro Tasmania. HT may require that it be cleaned up and reinstated to its satisfaction and at your own expense.
Failure to comply with any of these conditions may result in prosecution by Tasmania Police.
In collaboration with the Parks and Wildlife Service and Game Services Tasmania, areas of HT land available for deer hunting are now allocated to hunters as part of the Public Land Deer Hunting Ballot. For more details, please see the Deer ballot page, and all enquiries should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Carrying firearms on Hydro Tasmania land
HT can issue authorisation to allow a person to carry a firearm across land it manages if they need to access adjoining land to hunt. If you wish to carry a firearm across HT land, you must complete an application form available to download here. When you are on HT managed land (which includes lakes and waterways), you may be required to provide evidence that you have permission to be hunting on adjoining land. Please remember it is illegal to carry a firearm on HT land without permission from HT. This is not necessary for those with permission to hunt deer through the public land deer hunting ballot or in permitted duck hunting areas.
HT reserves the right to prohibit use of firearms on land, lakes or waterways it manages where the safety of employees, the public or infrastructure assets may be compromised, and to limit damage to environmental values of particular areas.
Further information on hunting on HT land can be found on the HT visitor information and safety website. Enquiries should be directed to 1300 360 441 or email@example.com.
Sustainable Timber Tasmania (STT)
The following information is to assist people wanting to hunt on Permanent Timber Production Zone land (PTPZ) – formerly known as State Forest.
If you want to hunt on PTPZ land, you will need to:
- hold a current firearms licence.
- hold an appropriate game licence (see link below) for the animals you wish to hunt.
- be aware that entry onto some areas of PTPZ land for hunting may be restricted due to forest management activities such as harvesting and conflicting site values (eg threatened species). This will be at the discretion of the relevant Regional Forest Manager.
- be aware that no keys will be issued to access PTPZ land.
General Regulations Applicable to Hunting all Game
There are a number of regulations applicable to all game species. The important ones are listed below.
- Hunting at night is prohibited, (night means the period between one hour after sunset and one hour before sunrise) unless you are the holder of a valid Crop Protection Permit for Permanent Timber Production Zone land.
- The use of baits, live decoys, traps, snares, spears, bows and arrows, explosives, poison, bird lime and chemical compounds is prohibited.
- Solid jacketed military ammunition is prohibited.
There are a number of areas where the road to PTPZ land is on private property controlled by private landowners – therefore STT does not have legal authority to give public access.
Current hunting areas include:
- Swansea (Tooms)
- Southport (Hastings)
- Glen Huon (Arve)
- Glen Huon (Barnback)
- Glen Huon (Picton)
- Tarraleah (Bradys)
- Waddamana (Echo)
- Waddamana (Waddamana)
- Fingal (Bicheno)
- St Marys (Mt Connection)
- Christmas Hills (Christmas Hills)
- Waratah (Parrawe)
- Waratah (Hellyer)
- Mayalla (Mayalla)
Please note these are general descriptions of the areas offered. For maps and more information please refer to the Sustainable Timber Tasmania website.
Big Den Deer Ballot
The Big Den Deer Ballot entry is open during November each year for the following adult male deer hunting season.
Only successful hunters registered in the ballot will have access to the Antlerless deer season. This year there will be a maximum of 44 hunters in any given ballot period, which may include hunting parties of up to 4 individuals.
To register for the Big Den Deer Ballot or to obtain maps for hunting areas on PTPZL you need to go to the Sustainable Timbers Tasmania website for further details.
There are some additional hunting areas on PTPZL including Bellevue Tier, Native Tier and Mt Connection on the East Coast. These areas are managed by the SSAA Tasmanian Deerstalkers. For further information please see www.ssaatasdeer.com.au
Permission to shoot documents
Sustainable Timber Tasmania
Persons applying for a Firearms Licence should note that 'Permission to Shoot' documents to accompany their application can be obtained on the STT website at a cost of $11.00.
The Permission Document that results from this application, gives permission to shoot specified game and vermin on land specified in the document. Note: conditions apply to the document and additional authorisations, permits or licences are still required prior to accessing the specified land or undertaking recreational hunting or vermin control on that land.
Find the permission form here Firearm Licence Holders Permission Document, Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment, Tasmania.
Public Hunting in Tasmania Fact Sheet (324Kb)