Introduction to NSW Public Land Hunting.

There are around two million hectares of declared public land in NSW that offer excellent hunting opportunities with a variety of game and feral animals you’re legally able to pursue. Before you can hunt on public land, you must have a NSW Restricted Game Hunting Licence (R-Licence).

Before you can apply for your NSW R Licence you will need to complete the NSW R Licence Accreditation Course and be a member of an Approved hunting Organisation (AHO) such as Hunters and Shooters Society of Australia (HSSA). To become a member of HSSA head to

The R-Licence Accreditation Course is part of the NSW Department of Primary Industries’ Hunter Learning, Education and Accreditation Program (LEAP) and has been approved as adequate training by the Department of Primary Industries under Clause 12 of the Regulation.

The Hunter LEAP R-Licence Accreditation Course can only be administered by a Hunter LEAP Trainer in association with a Hunter LEAP Provider accredited by the NSW Department of Primary Industries, such as Hunters and Shooters Society of Australia. To book in for your NSW R Licence Accreditation course head to

Once you have passed the R Licence Accreditation Course and are a member of an AHO you will need to apply for your R licence and pay the required fee to NSW DPI.

Once you obtain your NSW R Licence you will need to login to the online licence holder service using your licence number and security PIN. can also download the Hunt NSW app from Google Play or the Apple App Store.

Once you are in online licence holder service you will need to complete a short online training product which will explain signs you may see in a state forest and basic navigation. After this training is completed, you will be able to book your first hunt.

Before you can hunt in state forest you will need a current written permission. Your Written Permission Must Be printed in Full Colour. You must also Sign your Written Permission and keep it with you at all times while you are present in the selected forest. You will generally need to sign your Written Permission on pages 2, 3 and 4, in the boxes that are marked – sign here:

The Written Permission is specific to each forest and is only valid for the hunting period that you

have selected. For example, all Ecological Deer Management (EDM) forests have additional conditions.

Your Written Permission will tell you what the conditions are for your chosen hunting area. Basic conditions included in the Written Permission are:

· all the general conditions applicable to public land hunting

· safety and advisory information specific to the selected forest

· allowable hunting methods specific to the selected forest

· what species can be hunted in the selected forest

· a Hunter return page

· an Illegal hunting report.

The remaining pages of your Written Permission consist of full colour topographic maps of the

selected public land. These maps must be printed in full colour as each hunting zone and exclusion zone is represented in colour.

You will be able to book most public land for a maximum of seven consecutive days (one week) and you may have two bookings simultaneously. Some Ecological Deer Management forests only allow a maximum of four days. (Please note you may only book a hunt up to 60 days in advance). You must not hunt on public land without formally booking your hunt with the Department of Primary Industries.

You are legally required to take a GPS enabled device with you, loaded with the correct up-to- date hunting exclusion zone maps for the area you have booked when you are hunting on public land.

If you don’t own a dedicated GPS you can still meet your legal requirements by downloading up- to-date maps onto your smartphone (iPhone or Android). A recomended smartphone mapping application called “Avenza” can be installed on your smart device. This application can read the georeferenced pdf hunting exclusion zone maps. It uses the GPS function on your smartphone to identify your exact location on the hunting exclusion zone map. You don’t need mobile phone reception for the maps to operate. The application works via GPS satellites and will plot your position even if you have no mobile network coverage.

Although the booking of a public land hunt through the online licence holder service is user friendly, it can still be dauting at times. HSSA run a basic introductory course into public land hunting for R licence Holders and members. If you are interested in this course, please contact us via email and we can arrange a course.

For hunter safety please remember Many of the forests that you choose to hunt could be in a remote location and may not have any mobile phone reception. It is good practice to let someone know where you will be and when you plan to return. Consider these safety tips before your next hunt:

· always let someone know where you are going

· advise them of when you are leaving and when you plan to return

· make sure you have a first aid kit with you

· check the weather conditions before you leave

· ensure you have enough food and water

· if you are camping, choose a safe spot away from the wind and risk of falling tree branches

· check the local fire danger. Remember that public land hunting is not permitted during a total fire ban.

· Hunter orange. Be safe. Be seen. When you are hunting on public land in NSW you must wear an article of blaze orange clothing on the upper part of your body. This could be a hat or beanie, a shirt or jacket or a blaze orange backpack. Wearing blaze orange is a mandatory condition of your Written Permission to hunt. 

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