Game Management Initiatives
DPI has appointed three regionally based Game Managers to run projects to better manage game species and their habitats. Many of these projects involve hunters and community groups, to help with monitoring of sustainable hunting and on-ground conservation works.
Game management and monitoring
Hunters contribute to game management when biological and population monitoring programs are set up by government agencies or research bodies. In Victoria all Hog Deer are taken to DPI checking stations where information is recorded. This gives accurate information that is vital to understand the population dynamics.
Property Based Game Management (PBGM) programs encourages landholders to increase habitat for game species on their properties. This benefits game species and other native wildlife will also find the increased habitat beneficial.
Game management includes monitoring of game populations and the harvest.
Hunters are encouraged to participate in telephone monitoring which analyses game harvest take and effort. Hunters have information that when captured in a scientific manner contributes to game management in Victoria.
Telephone surveys of Victorian Game Licence hunter holders have been conducted since July 2008. The methodology of performing telephone surveys throughout the season is likely to minimise memory bias compared to the annual year postal survey. However there could be some biases of over and under reporting and hunters are encouraged to be accurate.
Each year about 3,500 licensed hunters have answered questions (annually from 1 July to 30 June). In 2008 the sample was from 36,000 licensed hunters to provide estimates on how many animals have been harvested over their open seasons. By 2012 the sample came from the increased number of 41,809 licensed hunters.
Summary Reports from some years are available:
Research and publications
A collaborative research technical report - (Report No. 196) was completed for the game harvest project in 2009 with Arthur Rylah Institute (ARI).
ARI Report No. 210 estimates the harvest from 2010 data and ARI Report No.224 reports the harvest from 2011 data. As each report are produced they will be found on the web page for Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research on www.dse.vic.gov.au
In 2009 the Minister for Environment and Climate Change approved the Hog Deer Management Strategy which provides a framework to guide future management of Hog Deer in Victoria.
Implementation of the Hog Deer Management Strategy will involve projects to enhance biodiversity through maintenance of native habitat, harvest management and population control of the species.
One such project was to analyse the data collected at the Hog Deer checking stations during 1997- 2011. A summary of that work is found at
A game management project has been completed, in collaboration with regional stakeholders and scientists, to produce a carp management plan for the Upper Avoca catchment. Although this plan is region specific the management principles can be applied to wetlands across Victoria.
Each year staff of Game Victoria have a stand at an Expo in Victoria. Game Managers meet many new hunters and present all available education material.
Other education projects involve publications such as a Victorian Game Birds Project that produces a booklet for all licenced game bird hunters in 2010 for identifying age, sex and moult of harvested game birds.
The field guide outlines the methods for identifying these stages in game waterfowl.
The guide is useful to all interested people for identifying the game waterfowl with colourful depictions of immature and adult birds.
Hunters can use this guide and keep a record of their harvest for the season; including species, age group, sex and if any moulting was observed in the population.
Any harvest information, including general field observations, can be forwarded to one of the Game Managers. This information will provide insight on the productivity and recruitment of game waterfowl populations and their responses to environmental conditions.
Hunters can also be involved in education opportunities to sharpen their skills in firearms. They can work with a group to improve target skills and range estimation.
Habitat and biodiversity
A game species needs a place to live, called habitat. Habitat includes plant species for cover, shelter and nesting. Some waterfowl need hollow trunks for nesting. Stubble Quail need some tall cover with plants such as grasses which provide shelter from predators.
Landholders can assist biodiversity by undertaking projects to provide shelter, cover, nesting places and food for game animals which also increases habitat for other species.
Considering biodiversity or the variety of species is important for game management. This is the focus for several fact sheets developed for Property Based Game Management (PBGM).
Linking vegetation corridors across the landscape with the planting of key plants is important on both private and public land.
DPI Game Managers and hunters work together to support habitat and biodiversity in State Game Reserves (Parks Victoria is the land manager). In several State Game Reserves members of hunting organisations have contributed with revegetation projects.
Members of hunting organisations contribute to fox control with fox drives on some State Game Reserves and Refuges. This integrates with fox baiting control programs by Parks Victoria.
Hunters must practice ethical and humane behaviour
Ethical hunting means that a person knows and respects the game hunted, follows the law and behaves in a way that will satisfy what society expects of a hunter.
Hunters must ensure that threatened species are not harmed by their activities.
Refer to Game Hunting In Victoria for what, where and when to hunt in Victoria.