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The Wildlife (Game) Regulations 2012 set out that the annual Victorian duck hunting season opens on the third Saturday in March and closes on the second Monday in June. The regulations also set the daily bag limits and hunting methods. However, under the Wildlife Act 1975, the State Government can vary the hunting arrangements.

All duck hunters, including juniors (12 to 17 years), must hold a valid Game Licence endorsed for duck and a firearms licence. Children under 12 years old are not permitted to use a firearm. The use of lead shot for duck hunting is prohibited throughout Victoria.

Getting your Game Licence

A hunter must pass a Waterfowl Identification Test (WIT) in order to obtain their Game Licence for duck. Junior Provisional and non-resident of Australia Game Licence-holders are exempt from the WIT test requirement but do require a firearms licence and must be under the direct supervision of a licensed adult duck hunter. More information can be found on Game Management Authority’s website.

Where can I hunt ducks?

Duck hunting is permitted in state forests, unoccupied Crown Land and State Game Reserves. Hunting is also permitted on leased and licensed Crown land or private land with permission of the leaseholder, licensee or land owner/manager respectively. Wetlands may be closed to hunting at certain times. Visit the Game Management Authority website for more information.

There are only three parks where duck hunting is allowed in designated areas:

  • Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park
  • Cape Conran Coastal Park
  • Lake Albacutya Park

Duck hunting tips

To avoid wounding and improve your chances of taking home a duck, following the below tips:

  • Positively identify the target as a game species
  • Make sure the bird is within your effective shooting skills range
  • Single out a bird to the rear or side and do not fire into flocks (this may injure other birds including non-game species)
  • Pattern test your gun to ensure you are using the correct choke and shot shell combination to take the birds you are hunting
  • Don’t hunt in areas where it is difficult to recover downed birds
  • Use a well-trained gun dog to retrieve downed birds
  • Make sure you practice regularly to improve and maintain your shooting skills
  • Enrol in the next Shotgunning Education Program date to learn more about effective shooting

Report illegal hunting

Illegal hunters have the potential to destroy the public’s perception of all hunters. They can also put the lives of others hunters at risk. Licensed shooters are encouraged to report any irresponsible or illegal behaviour by calling 136 186 or for emergencies calling 000.