Species of Game

​​​​​​This page has information relating to specific species of game in Tasmania and the regulations around hunting them. It also highlights any monitoring that occurs for each species which recreational hunters may assist with​.

A three-step process exists to legally hunt in Tasmania. We've created a fact sheet with information to help you complete each step:

 How to Legally Hunt Game in Tasmania - Fact Sheet (PDF 181Kb)

​​I am ready to start my application for a recreational game licence.

​Fallow d​e​​er

Bag Limit:

  • One adult male deer, required to be tagged

  • No limit or tag requirement for antlerless deer

  • Spikies (immature male deer) may not be taken

Regulation snapshot

  • ​a Category B endorsement is required on Tasmanian Minor's permits or fire​​arms licence when an applicant is purchasing a hunting licence for deer

  • ​deer may only be taken using a firearm with a minimum calibre of 6mm, which can deliver a projectile having kinetic energy of 1,350j at a distance of 100 metres from the rifle. A calibre .243 or greater is recommended

  • hunting during pr​ohibited hours (at night), with the aid of a spotlight, or other detection devices, and shooting from a vehicle is prohibited

  • a landholder may obtain a Property Protection Permit (PPP), which authorises shooting during prohibited hours (at night), with the aid of a spotlight, or other detection devices, and shooting from a vehicle

  • a landholder may issue an Agent's copy of their PPP to persons taking deer. Persons must hold a deer hunting licence if they intend to remove the deer from the property

  • the use of dogs is not permitted when taking deer

  • a hunter must immediately tag each male deer they take with the official tag issued to them with their hunting licence or PPP

  • when taking male deer fix and lock the tag to the antler between the brow tine and the trez tine

  • a person must not remove the head, or sever the body, of a deer at a location other than at their usual residence, unless all products have been labelled with their name and residential address, and the deer licence number and tag number

  • a hunter must keep a record of the number of antlerless female deer and adult male they harvest during the gazetted deer season, and provide this to the Department as a part of their game take return​

​Public land deer h​unting ballot (Central Hig​​hlands dee​​​r ballot)

Information about the ballot process, and the areas included, is available on the Public Land Deer Ballot page.


Bag Limit: No bag limit for either wallaby species

Hunting on private land:  Property protection ​per​mit issued by the Department to landowner and onissued to hunters.

 Property Protection Permit Application (PDF 234Kb)

Hunting on Crown land: Completion of 

Application for an Authority (PDF 99Kb)​

Hunting on State forest: Contact your nearest Sustainable Timber Tasmania​ office.

Hunting on conservation areas: Contact your nearest Parks and Wildlife Service Field Centre to the area you wish to hunt.

Regulation Sna​​​pshot

  • the use of snares and steel-jawed traps is prohibited

  • hunting during prohibited hours (at night), with the aid of a spotlight, or other detection devices, and shooting from a vehicle is prohibited

  • a landholder may obtain a property protection permit which authorises shooting during prohibited hours (at night), with the aid of a spotlight, or other form of detection devices, and shooting from a vehicle

  • a landholder may issue an Agent's copy of their property protection permit to persons taking wallaby. Persons must hold a wallaby hunting licence if they intend to remove the wallaby from the property

  • adult female wallaby taken must be examined for pouch young, which should be humanely killed

The Department does not require take information from wallaby hunting licence holders. The wallaby harvest is monitored using property specific take figures from wallaby property protection permit  holders.

Property owners, managers, their immediate family members or full-time employees are exempt from the requirement of a recreational wallaby game licence, however they are required to hold a current property protection permit. ​

Wild​​ duck

Bag Limit: 10 ducks per licenced hunter per day

Tasmania has a number of species of waterfowl but only five may be hunted during the open game season. 

Game species are: 

  • black duck

  • grey teal

  • chestnut teal

  • mountain duck

  • wood duck

All other species must not be shot.

Regulation Snapshot

  • hunters must have passed a Waterfowl Identification Test (WIT)​ to obtain a duck hunting licence

  • hunters must produce their WIT Certificate the first time they purchase a duck hunting licence

  • decoys, including feathered decoys, are permitted

  • the use of bait, live birds, tape recorders or other electronic devices is prohibited

  • the use of a boat propelled by an engine is prohibited when taking ducks

  • the use of aircraft for rousing ducks is prohibited

  • ducks may only be taken with shotguns not exceeding 12 gauge

  • lead shot is not permitted when hunting wild duck over wetlands, lakes, dams, harbours, estuaries, lagoons, rivers, creeks, canals, or other watercourses, whether on public or private property

  • hunters must retain either the head or the wings on all harvested ducks until the hunter has arrived at their normal place of residence, shack or camp

Public land du​​ck hunting ​

​Prior to each open season the Department releases a Public Notice detailing reserves open for duck hunitng for licenced duck hunters.​

 Duck Hunting - Public Land (PDF 3Mb)​​

Hydro​ Tasmania land duc​​k hunting

Licenced hunters are permitted to hunt ducks on designated areas without needing to seek permission from Hydro Tasmania. For more information see the website Hydro Tasmania land​.​

Monitoring duck pop​​ulations

Each February since 1985 the Department carries out a state-wide count of waterbirds with assistance from the Parks and Wildlife Service and many volunteers. These counts are not an attempt to count all of the ducks in the state but rather to get an index of trends in the populations.

A sample of 80 wetlands, of a variety of types, (e.g. farm dams to estuaries) are counted each year and the number of ducks seen gives an indication of whether duck numbers have increased or decreased. This information is then graphed, to indicate trends in the populations.

The graphs are available as the State-wide Waterbird Survey:

  Statewide Waterbird Surveys   (176Kb)​

​The use of non-toxic shot for hunting wild duck over wetlands in Tasmania

Duck hunters are not permitted to use lead shot when hunting over any public or private water or watercourse.

Examples would include:

  • wetlands

  • lakes

  • dams 

  • harbours 

  • estuaries 

  • lagoons

  • rivers

  • creeks

  • canals 

Wildlife Rangers are equipped with devices to differentiate between lead shot and non-toxic shot.

Heavy metals pose serious environmental and health dangers. Exposure to lead in the environment can cause a build-up of this metal in our bodies and cause serious health problems. Waterfowl are no different. This is why it is so important to ensure that lead does not end up in sediment where ducks are likely to feed.

Tasmanian Duck Avian Influenza Survey

The Department's Health Laboratories continue to call for biological samples from harvested ducks throughout the year to test for avian influenza. The collection of duck samples is not mandatory.

If you are interested in assisting you can find more information on the av​ian influenza pages.

​Brown Q​​​uail

Bag Limit: 20 birds per licenced hunter per day

Regulation Sn​​apshot:

Three species of native quail are known in Tasmania:

  • stubble quail

  • painted quail

  • brown quail

Only Brown quail can be taken during the open game season

Brown quail may only be taken with a shot gun no greater than 12 gauge

Other species of game birds such as partridge and bobwhite quail have been introduced to Tasmania. These species have been released under permit to properties specifically for hunting.

  Management of Brown Quail in Tasmania   (436Kb)

Common P​​heasant

Bag limit: Three adult male birds per licenced hunter per day

Regulation ​​Snapshot:

  • the open game season applies only on King Island

  • pheasants may only be taken with a shotgun not greater than 12 gauge

Hunters are encouraged to:

  • become a member of the King Island Game Bird Association. Phone: 0428 611 254

  • ensure you have permission to access land for hunting​

Shor​​t-Tailed Shearwater (Muttonbird)

Bag limit: 25 muttonbirds per licence holder per day

The muttonbird is partly protected wildlife under the Nature Conservation (Wildlife) Regulations 2021. It is subject to harvesting by licenced harvesters during an annual open season determined under the Nature Conservation (Open Seasons) Order, 2004​

Regulation Sn​apshot:

  • birding is permitted one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset

  • the use of pointed, sharpened, barbed, hook shaped, or sharpened implements is prohibited.

  • the use of dogs is prohibited

  • interfering with a muttonbird burrow during the closed season or without a licence during the open season is prohibited

  • the taking of muttonbirds under another person's licence (including that of a family member) is prohibited

  • chicks are to be killed quickly and humanely in accordance with the Animal Welfare Act 1993​​

The following information sheet provides details of colonies that are open to harvest and is mailed to the previous season's licence holders each year.

  Muttonbird Information Sheet (PDF 121Kb)

Note: West Coast muttonbird rookeries are closed to enable the colonies to rebuild.

Annual monitoring of muttonbird numbers informs  the management of the annual harvest. See Short-tailed Shearwater Monitoring for more information on the 2020-21 monitoring season.

Rabbits and Hares

Rabbits are classified as vermin under the Vermin Control Act 2000Hares are not classified as vermin. 

Rabbits and hares may be hunted at any time on Crown land, State Forest and on private land, with the permission of the landholder. There are no bag limits. They are normally taken with shotguns or rim-fire rifles, although any non-prohibited firearm may be used. ​


Game Services Tasmania

GPO Box 44,
Hobart, TAS, 7001.

Wildlife Services

GPO Box 44,
Hobart, TAS, 7001.