South Australian legislation allows for properly managed and regulated hunting of native game birds by licensed shooters under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972 and regulations. Hunting is permitted as part of an 'open season', which are declared annually based on several factors.

2024 Open season for duck hunting and quail hunting

Open seasons for duck hunting and quail hunting have been declared for South Australia in 2024.

The season declarations follow an assessment of climate data and forecasts, landscape and wetland condition, and waterfowl abundance. The potential impacts of hunting activities on the conservation and sustainability of waterfowl populations and stakeholder feedback were also considered as part of the assessment. The information used in this assessment included:

• Bureau of Meteorology data,
• DEW wetland and waterfowl surveys,
the Eastern Australia Waterbird Survey,
• stubble quail surveys undertaken by the Conservation and Hunting Alliance of South Australia, and
• various remotely sensed landscape condition data.

Recommendation for the 2024 duck hunting open season and quail hunting open season is based on 2023 data and forecasts for 2024. DEW prepares a report each year that summarises this data.

The Minister may revoke or revise the open season declarations prior to or during open seasons if should conditions deteriorate or circumstances change.

Information on specific permits required for hunting duck and quail, details of the open seasons, and useful resources can be found at the following links:

Open season duck hunting information

Open season quail hunting information

Parliamentary Inquiry on Hunting of Native Birds in South Australia

A parliamentary committee in late 2023 concluded its review into duck and quail hunting. The department is considering the committee’s report and will provide its advice on the recommendations to the state government in early 2024.