Shotgunning Education Handbook: Know your game and regulations
Black Duck (large duck)
Blue Winged Shoveler (small duck)
Chestnut Teal (small duck)
Grey Teal (small duck)
Hardhead Duck (medium duck)
Mountain Duck (very large duck)
Pink-eared Duck (small duck)
Wood Duck (medium duck)
Stubble Quail (very small bird)
Note: Does not include introduced game birds such as pheasant, partridge and non-native quail.
The legislation and regulations for game bird hunting vary in all states and territories of Australia. You should always be aware of the differences and at all times adhere to local regulations.
Currently in Victoria, all game bird hunters must hold a valid Game Licence endorsed for game bird hunting. Hunters must carry this licence in the field at all times.
Waterfowl hunters are required to use non-toxic shot when hunting and all harvested game ducks must have one fully feathered wing attached until immediately prior to cooking, or until it’s been taken to the hunter’s place of residence.
Regulations governing game hunting may change at any time. Hunters should familiarise themself with information contained in the Victorian Hunting Guide and check requirements prior to entering the field.
In order to ensure proficiency in the field, all waterfowl hunters must pass the Waterfowl Identification Test before applying for a Game Licence. This also applies to hunters from interstate and overseas.
To learn about game species and improve your identification skills, refer to A Guide to Australian Waterfowl. There is also an informative DVD available from the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and Field & Game Australia called Ducks in Sight. This DVD may also be available at your local library.
To obtain a copy of this DVD, please contact the DPI customer service centre on 136 186.
Ethics and Code of Practice for game bird hunting
There are three key aspects to ethical hunting:
1. Knowing and respecting the game - understanding the birds and their habitat and treating them with respect.
2. Obeying the law - laws and regulations have been introduced to ensure that hunting is conducted in a safe, responsible and sustainable manner.
3. Behaving in the right manner - hunter behaviour has a direct impact on public opinion and may have a further impact on the future of waterfowl hunting.
Other considerations are:
- shot placement
- follow-up every shot
- appropriate practice regimes
- respecting dispatched game
- respecting the habitat
- respecting the opinion of non-hunters
- respecting private property and landowner rights
- choosing your hunting companions wisely.
Other states and hunting organisations also produce guidelines for the ethical hunting of game birds. These may provide hunters with valuable information about how to act in the field.
The Department of Primary Industries provides an annual copy of the Victorian Hunting Guide to all licenced game hunters.
All hunters should be familiar with the current Victorian Hunting Guide. It includes information on:
- licensing and game management news
- seasonal arrangements for that particular year
- protected wildlife
- pest animals
- where you can hunt in Victoria
- firearms safety
- relevant publications and information sources.