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Topics > Plants & animals > Abundant species > 2018 duck & quail open seasons

Important general information for hunters

Hunting near barrages

No hunting or fishing is permitted within 150 metres either side of any barrage structure (River Murray Waters Act 1971).

Approved shot

Lead shot must not be used for duck hunting in South Australia. Nor may you have it in your possession while hunting. Several wetlands in South Australia are known to have high densities of spent lead shot in the surface mud of the areas favoured for hunting. This lead is ingested by some types of waterbirds and can cause varying degrees of lead poisoning.

Hunting with steel shot

Hunters should take care with the guns they use, as not all guns are suitable for steel shot. You should check with the firearm manufacturer or distributor before using steel shot.

Hunting with bismuth

Bismuth may be used in any shotgun that can use commercial lead shot.

Safety for shooters

Please respect the rights of other hunters. It is generally accepted that the first hunter to a position has precedence and no hunter should approach closer than 50m without the other hunter’s permission. Avoid accidents – please don’t shoot low.

Important information

  • Duck shooting is prohibited from half an hour after sunset to quarter of an hour before sunrise the next day during the open season.
  • You will need a hunting permit endorsed for the hunting of protected game. You are required to carry the hunting permit with you at all times and produce it on the demand of a warden.
  • Observe your bag limit.  Do not exceed twelve (12) ducks per hunter per day or 25 quail per hunter per day.
  • It is unlawful to use pump action and self-loading shotguns for the purpose of hunting.
  • Duck and quail may only be taken with a smooth bore firearm that has a bore no larger than 1.9cm (12 gauge), firing shot no larger than BB (4.1mm in diameter).
  • Shooting is not permitted on any Reserve other than a Game Reserve.
  • Lead shot must not be used in the taking of ducks throughout this state. Non-toxic shot such as steel or bismuth is to be used.
  • Any person entering a Game Reserve must not have lead shot in his/her possession.
  • Pre-feeding of hunting grounds is prohibited.
  • Shooting or taking any protected bird, mammal or reptile other than the species listed as available in the 2018 open season is prohibited.
  • Species available in the 2018 open season are:
    • Grey Teal (Anas gibberifrons)
    • Chestnut Teal (Anas castanea)
    • Pacific Black Duck (Anas superciliosa)
    • Mountain Duck (Tadorna tadornoides)
    • Wood Duck (Chenonetta jubata)
    • Pink-eared Duck (Malacorhynchus membranaceus)
    • Hardhead (Aythya australis).
  • In some previous years Blue-winged Shoveler (Anas rhynchotis) has been available to shoot.  In 2018 Blue-winged Shoveler is not allowed to be shot.
  • You will need written permission to hunt from all landowners for all land, including Crown Land. This includes the backwaters of the River Murray where it floods private land, and the lakes of the South East. The Minister for Environment and Conservation has not approved open season hunting on some unalienated Crown Lands.
  • The taking of duck eggs or quail eggs during the open season is prohibited.
  • Hunting without a current hunting permit and/or failing to obtain the written permission of the landowner prior to hunting on any land may incur a penalty of up to $1,250.
  • The penalties for the illegal taking of, or possession of protected fauna range from $2,500 and six months imprisonment, up to $10,000 and two years imprisonment, depending on the type of animal involved. Therefore, please identify your species before shooting and do not exceed your total bag limit.
  • A penalty of up to $1,250 applies for being in possession of lead shot or shot containing lead whilst within any Game Reserve, or for possession of lead shot whilst hunting waterfowl anywhere in the state.
  • Duck shooting is prohibited from a boat that is moving or under way.
Hunters must have passed the Waterfowl Identification Test (WIT), hold an approved hunting permit, posses a current firearms permit for a shotgun and have the written permission from the land holder to go duck hunting. Contact us on (08) 8204 1910 for details.

Hunter Returns

The Conservation and Hunting Alliance of South Australia (CHASA) and the department have initiated a Hunting Report Card, so that off take can be recorded by hunters during the season. CHASA will compile the information received from hunters and share it with the department, excluding the personal details of hunters.

The hunter report card can be downloaded as an editable pdf to assist hunters to provide their returns.  Please email your Hunter Report Card to or post your Hunter Report Card to CHASA at Level 1/216 Glen Osmond Road, Fullarton SA 5063. Alternatively email them to

The department and CHASA encourages hunters to complete and return the Hunter Report Card, as the more cards that are returned, the better the information to help in setting future seasons.

Click here to view form.