What you need to know about hunting on private property

Where can you hunt?

Private property, whether it is your own or another person’s, is the only place you can legally hunt. If you wish to hunt on private land that is not your own, you must seek and obtain the permission of the landowner first. If you do not seek the permission of the owner, you will be considered to be trespassing and be liable for a maximum of 20 penalty units or 1 year’s imprisonment.

Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders living on ‘trust lands’ are exempt from hunting and fishing regulations and are allowed to hunt using their traditional methods.

What can you hunt?

Unlike in the rest of Australia, Queensland does not have game species. Instead, there are classifications of animals known as pest species that may be hunted at any time, so long as the landowner’s permission has been granted.  These species include:

  • Camels
  • Deer
  • Bali Cattle and Bison
  • Dingoes
  • Feral cats or dogs
  • Feral pigs
  • Foxes
  • Rabbits
  • Feral goats

Any native species, or those protected under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 cannot be hunted. If a protected species is hunted, penalties can go as high as 3,000 penalty units or 2 years imprisonment.

How can you hunt?

Regardless of where you hunt – firearms need to be properly registered in accordance with the Weapons Act. This is mainly done for both tracking, compliance and safety purposes, as each firearm is given a unique serial number. However, some guns are off-limits and cannot be licenced in any way. The guns that are permissible must be renewed every three to five years in Queensland, depending on the firearm. As noted in Section 50A of the Weapons Act 1990, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm is 13 years in prison. To be considered a full licence holder, you must be 18 years old. Juveniles have limitations on licencing. They need to be no less than 11 years of age and be under the watchful eye of a licenced adult at all times.

Depending on where your hunting, permits may be needed in addition to a licence. On private property, however, a current licence suffices. This goes for hunting on your own property as well; you still need an up-to-date licence for your actions to be considered legal.

If you have been charged with any offence whilst hunting, Russo Lawyers can help you understand how they apply to you and how to help your situation. Contact us today.

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