Code of Conduct & Ethics

Field & Game Australia’s high standards of practice apply to all members. As ambassadors for the tradition of hunting, we encourage Field & Game Australia members and their hunting companions to pursue their hunting in a sustainable, ethical and humane manner.

The Hunting Code of Conduct and Ethics uses principles that are embodied in long-established practice among responsible hunters and are endorsed by animal welfare authorities worldwide.

Animal welfare

Every animal is a living creature and should not suffer unnecessarily as a result of hunting.

Hunt economically and skillfully

Every hunter’s objective is to achieve the instantaneous death and efficient recovery of every targeted animal or bird. Where possible, and wherever regulations allow, every animal or bird that is taken should be put to good use. Only where it is absolutely unavoidable, or where reduction of problem numbers is the primary goal of hunting, should animals or birds not be used in a fully sustainable manner.

Many factors contribute to achieving an instantaneous kill and efficient recovery. Successful, sustainable and humane hunting requires ongoing learning and constant attention to detail.

Having positively identified a target species, hunters should only shoot if they are sure:

  • It is safe to do so.
  • The target is within range.
  • The gun/cartridge combination being used is appropriate for the type and size of animal being targeted.
  • The hunter is confident of hitting and killing the animal or bird.
  • The hunter is able to recover the shot animal or bird.

Respect for rules, regulations and people

Hunters are required to obtain the appropriate licences from the relevant state regulatory body before participating in hunting on private or public land, and must be familiar with and comply with all relevant legislation. At all times hunters must:

  • Act in a responsible and respectful manner;
  • Observe and adhere to all appropriate camping regulations – especially taking home what was taken in; and
  • Be respectful of dispatched animals – especially preparing game quickly to limit waste.

Private property

Shooters hunting on private property are guests of the landowner/manager and must observe the courtesies required of them. Hunters must obtain permission to legally hunt on private property and must respect the conditions set by the landowner/manager. Hunters must:

  • Ask the landowner/manager about areas to hunt and those to avoid;
  • Always respect the landowner or manager’s decisions; and
  • Leave gates as you find them and be aware of the position of people, livestock, buildings and crops.

Public land

Shooters hunting on public land must observe and respect the natural environment and ensure that they:

  • Are alert to and aware of other land users who may be in the area;
  • Observe all regulations regarding the internal and external boundaries of public land areas, referring to maps and regulations to ensure compliance is maintained; and
  • Have all relevant permits and licences, and understand the guidelines pertaining to game species, seasons and bag limits.


It is important that all hunters adhere to the firearm safety regulations and ensure that they:

  • Take great care when hunting game birds along waterways and wetlands;
  • Maintain a safe distance (at least 150 metres) from another hunter;
  • Wear high-visibility clothing or headwear whenever possible;
  • Are fully familiar with their surroundings; and
  • Brief family members, hunting companions and relevant authorities before commencing a hunt.

Field etiquette

Hunting equipment

Hunters should:

  • Be aware that people who are unfamiliar with hunting practices may be intimidated by the presence of firearms and hunters wearing camouflage clothing;
  • Be sympathetic to others' concerns – don't wear camouflage clothing when travelling to and from a hunting trip, and do keep firearms stored safely out of sight; and
  • Be aware that non-hunters may also be uncomfortable seeing hunted animals and birds – when transporting taken animals, ensure they are not visible to the public.


Good hunting behaviour will reflect on people’s opinions of all hunters. It is important to:

  • Respect the views of other members of the community and the opinions of non-hunters – everyone is entitled to their own opinion; and
  • Be considerate and courteous, always demonstrating to the public that hunters behave responsibly and practice ethical and sustainable hunting practices


The Victorian Game Management Authority’s RESPECT campaign encourages hunters to hunt responsibly. For more information visit the RESPECT campaign on the GMA website.