Duck and stubble quail hunting

The Government has announced its response to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Victoria's Recreational Native Bird Hunting Arrangements.

Detailed information on the Government’s response can be viewed on the Inquiry into Victoria's recreational native bird hunting arrangements webpage

Recreational duck and stubble quail hunting will continue in Victoria – with important changes to ensure it remains safe, sustainable and responsible.

The changes to duck and stubble quail hunting arrangements, including to regulations, will be introduced from 2025.

What are the changes to duck and stubble quail hunting?

The changes to take effect from 2025 will include:

  • Improving hunters’ knowledge and skill by making education and training for hunters mandatory.
  • Implementing the Waterfowl Wounding Reduction Action Plan, to reduce the risk of wounding.
  • Banning the use of lead shot for quail hunting.
  • Stricter compliance levels, including further penalties for hunters breaking the rules.
  • Greater recognition of Traditional Owners’ knowledge of hunting and land management.

From 2025, duck hunting season settings will be determined using the Adaptive Harvest Management model. The system is a world class science-based tool that supports the sustainability of game duck populations.

The Government will work with hunting groups, animal welfare groups, Traditional Owners and the Game Management Authority in implementing these changes.

Victoria’s hunting regulations will be updated by late 2024. There will be a public consultation phase for this regulatory update.

What are the 2024 duck hunting season arrangements?

This year’s season will occur over eight weeks between 10 April and 5 June 2024 inclusive.

Season details include:

  • A starting time of 8am each day.
  • The daily bag limit will be set at six birds.
  • Hunting of Hardhead and Blue-Winged shoveler will be prohibited.

Like previous seasons there will be closures of wetlands available to hunting should there be, for example, the detection of significant numbers of threatened species.

Consideration will also be given to wetlands that include areas of significant cultural heritage at risk of damage.

The Game Management Authority in collaboration with other agencies and departments, will be out in force during the duck hunting season and there will be no tolerance for breaches of hunting laws.

What are the 2024 stubble quail season arrangements?

This year’s stubble quail season details will be released in due course, informed by advice from the Game Management Authority.

Lead shot will be banned for quail hunting from 2025. Lead shot has been banned for duck hunting for decades.

Page last updated: 20 February 2024