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What Animals Can You Hunt in Australia? 5 Common Game Species

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three elk hunters

If you are planning a hunting trip in Australia, you may want to know the locations available in the region. Besides, it is also imperative to know all the details about Australia’s most common game species. 

The hunting rules and regulations in Australia differ in every territory and state. You may find that the species you can hunt in one region may be protected in another. There is a lot of confusion regarding this, and the best way to save yourself from hefty fines is by correctly knowing the regulations and laws of the area you plan to hunt in.

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The 5 Common Game Species to Hunt in Australia

Animals that can be hunted in this country are divided into two different categories. The Feral group consists of animals with domestic origins but living in the wild. You can track them at any season or month of the year.

On the other hand, the second category is referred to as “game.” This includes animals that are hunted for sports or food. The government protects these animals, and they can only be hunted during specific seasons.

Considering both categories, let’s list some common species you can hunt in this region.

1. Foxes

fox hunting bird/ owl
Image Credit: Menno-Schaefer, Shutterstock

In Australia, landowners can hunt foxes, provided they have a license. If you are not a landowner, you can ask their permission to experience fox hunting throughout the year.

You can easily spot a Red Fox in Australia. This animal has a bushy tail, big ears, and variable coat patterns and colors. The fox has a white chin, belly, and chest and the rest of the body is reddish-brown.

Since fox hunting is legal in Australia, many hunters use the bait method to attract this animal. Foxes are also shot using spotlights during the night. A few hunters also attract them through fox whistles. 

2. Deer

white tailed deer
Image Credit: Daina Krumins, Pixabay

Another one of the most common game species in Australia is deer. If you are into sports hunting, you are allowed to hunt down six species of deer in the region. These are red deer, fallow deer, chital, hog deer, rusa, and sambar.

The chital deer is usually known as the Indian spotted deer, featuring a dark brown body with white spots. A hog deer has dark brown to reddish skin and also features spots. This deer has three tined antlers.

You can spot a sambar deer because of its mammoth size. It is one of the largest deers in Australia, with three antlers and brown to black-colored bodies. A rusa deer is smaller than a sambar deer but belongs to the same family and has a gray-colored body.

The red deer features a white coat with a dull-brown body, while a fallow deer is one of the most common species that turns from reddish-brown to grayish-brown from summer to winter.

In Australia, almost all states consider deer hunting differently. For instance, some areas partly protect them as game species while others allow their hunting throughout the year.

3. Rabbit

Wild Rabbit
Image Credit: lppicture, Pixabay

Rabbits are one of the most invasive species found in Australia. They can easily breed and can end up having an uncontrolled population. Also, rabbits often have detrimental effects on the environment. For instance, they can cause soil erosion, lead to a plague, and are pretty adaptable, a burden to the fragile environment. This is why Australia permits recreational hunters to hunt rabbits in the region.

Hunting of this animal is, in fact, encouraged throughout the country as it is considered invasive. Australian hunters often use ground shooting for hunting the animal down.

Feral rabbits are found all across Australia. You can locate them in coastal plains and forests. A feral rabbit has a compact body with powerful and long hind legs. It is often brown in color with a short tail and white underparts. It also has long ears that most other rabbits have.

4. Goat

mountain goat
Image Credit: Raindom, Pixabay

Goat hunting is also pretty common in Australia. If you want to experience this, make sure you go after old billies and big goat breeds that often make excellent trophies. In addition, if you want to shoot a goal for easting purposes, young nannies three years old make a great treat.

Hunting goats in Australia require the correct cartridge and firearm. If you are an ethical hunter, ensure that your cartridge is powerful enough to gun down the animal with one shot. Many hunters also use bows but make sure you buy a good-quality bow with a perfect weight before you use one.

Goats in Australia are often found in regions with low rainfall and an excellent drainage system. Locations such as tablelands in New South Wales, western plains, and Queensland’s scrub plains are perfect for goat hunting.

5. Pig

collard peccary pig in the grass
Image Credit: Piqsels

Australia is pretty famous for pig hunting. This is because these animals cause significant damage to land, farms, and properties, so landowners often find ways to reduce their population.

Pig hunting is usually considered a fun experience in Australia, provided that you follow all the preventive measures. Also known as captain cookers, pigs were initially traded in Australia, and from then, they went wild and thrived in the country’s wilderness.

The perfect months to hunt feral pigs are between July and November. This is due to temperature and climate. You can track as many pigs as you want to consume, and if it’s a pest, the law permits you to knock it off instantly.scope crosshairs divider 2

Hunting Tips for a Remarkable Experience in Australia

If this is your first time experiencing hunting in Australia, you may get overwhelmed and anxious. However, with our excellent tips below, you can make your hunting adventure worthwhile.

Take the Right Weapon

Whether you want to use a rifle or a bow, ensure that your weapon is fit enough to perform the job. If you are into night hunting, invest in a gun that features a flashlight for better clarity. You should also choose a weapon that meets the laws and avoid fines when hunting down a species.

Read the regulations properly when you purchase a weapon. For example, Australian laws are very strict regarding choosing the right animal for a particular game species.

hunters resting in the field
Image Credit: Just dance, Shutterstock

Wear the Correct Gear

Wear gear that can support this activity easily. Many affordable and perfect hunting boots are available to protect your feet and keep them dry while in the field. Also, invest in clothing that doesn’t hinder your hunting efforts and provides a comfortable fit for your body.

Know the Target Animals

You need to know everything about the animal on target. When you are in the wild, you don’t have the time to spot differences, so take some time beforehand and learn every detail about your chosen game. This is imperative to avoid mishaps and to hunt any endangered animal.

scope crosshairs divider 2 Final Takeaway

Australia is an excellent place to hunt various animal species. Australia has strict laws on hunting, but its perfect weather and location allow you to explore its wild side easily. Some common game species in Australia include rabbits, pigs, foxes, deer, and goats.

If you are in the region and want an excellent experience, ensure that you are well-aware of the animal and the location and have all the right tools to catch your game. Also, check the correct season for hunting to avoid any disappointments.

Featured Image Credit: melissamn, Shutterstock

About the Author Jeff Weishaupt

Jeff is a tech professional by day, writer, and amateur photographer by night. He's had the privilege of leading software teams for startups to the Fortune 100 over the past two decades. He currently works in the data privacy space. Jeff's amateur photography interests started in 2008 when he got his first DSLR camera, the Canon Rebel. Since then, he's taken tens of thousands of photos. His favorite handheld camera these days is his Google Pixel 6 XL. He loves taking photos of nature and his kids. In 2016, he bought his first drone, the Mavic Pro. Taking photos from the air is an amazing perspective, and he loves to take his drone while traveling.