Field & Game Australia members participate in a variety of ethical hunting activities. Australia offers a diverse range of game species such as duck, geese, quail and deer. These species are harvested for the table, allowing hunters to stock up on great free-range food, with low food mileage.
Field & Game Australia members also volunteer their time to assist in pest animal control programs on public, freehold and private land. Private landholders, primary producers, and government agencies are among those assisted by Field & Game Australia’s conservationist hunters.
Pest animal species hunted in Australia include foxes, feral cats, rabbits, wild pigs, buffalo, wild goats, wild dogs and a variety of introduced pest bird species (such as Indian Mynahs). Not all are suitable for consumption, but some pest animals are extremely good to eat – an added bonus to the satisfaction of removing pest and introduced animals from our landscape.
Each state and territory has different legislation and restrictions on which species can be hunted and where hunting can take place. Tasmania, South Australia, Victoria and the Northern Territory have waterfowl seasons in addition to the ongoing pest animal hunting. New South Wales primary producers are assisted by hunters to protect crops – rice, in particular – and in Queensland you can hunt pest animals such as goats and pigs.
For more information on licensing and permits, visit the relevant government department website:
- Australian Capital Territory
- New South Wales
- Northern Territory
- South Australia
- Western Australia: does not currently have a hunting permit or game licensing system
Game and Pest Animal Hunting
Field & Game Australia's members spend thousands of hours and dollars on recreational hunting. Most hunting is undertaken for food and pest animal control, but this is only the end result. The enjoyment of the outdoors, camaraderie between fellow hunters, continuation and development of family traditions, and strengthening of friendships are all factors in the passion for hunting, as well as personal development through improving marksmanship skills. Competitive firearm sports have clearly evolved from these recreational pursuits, and now lie at the base of a well-established Olympic sport in which Australians excel.
Australian life has become quite urbanised in recent decades, meaning that many individuals do not see the process of food production. This distance and removal of the process from the product means that many people have become opposed to the concept of killing for food, or for protection of crops or other wildlife species.
There is no correlation between hunting and disrespect for wildlife. Likewise, sadism and cruelty has no place in ethical hunting. A good hunter is one who only takes what they need, who treats their quarry with respect, and behaves fairly and ethically when in the field.
Indigenous cultures across the world have a deep, ingrained respect for wildlife and the natural world – yet they hunt and harvest that same wildlife for the table. Respect and sustainable use are not mutually exclusive.
The Hunting Economy
Until 2014, it was estimated that hunters contributed around $100 million to the Victorian economy every year. In fact, this estimate was extremely conservative. A Department of Environment and Primary Industries study was commissioned in 2013 to assess the economic impact of hunting in Victoria. The results were staggering.
The study’s report was released in 2014, with the news that hunting (both pest and game) is worth $439 million a year in Victoria.
Field & Game Australia would love to see a nation-wide study of the economic impacts of hunting as it takes place in nearly every state and territory across Australia.