An open season for duck hunting has been declared for South Australia in 2024. The following provides a summary of important information on duck hunting as well as links to permit information, permitted species for hunting, areas where hunting is permitted or excluded and what restrictions apply.

When can I hunt?

Period of season declared for duck hunting:

The open season begins at sunrise on Saturday 16 March 2024 and ends at sunset on Sunday 30 June 2024.

Important: some game reserves have restricted dates for the 2024 open season.

Times permitted for duck hunting:

Shooting is permitted between sunrise and sunset on any given day of the open season at approved locations.

What duck species am I permitted to hunt?

For the 2024 open season, the protected species permitted for duck hunting are:

  • grey teal (Anas gracilis)
  • chestnut teal (Anas castanea)
  • Pacific black duck (Anas superciliosa)
  • Australian shelduck (mountain duck) (Tadorna tadornoides)
  • maned (wood) duck (Chenonetta jubata)
  • pink-eared duck (Malacorhynchus membranaceus)
  • hardhead (Aythya australis)

What duck species am I not permitted to hunt?

Hunting of the

  • Australasian (blue-winged) shoveler (Anas rhynchotis)

are not permitted for the 2024 open season.

The taking of eggs of any duck species during the open season is prohibited.

How many ducks can I hunt each day (bag limit)?

On any day of the open season, a person shall not take more than ten (10) ducks of the species listed above.

Where can I hunt?

Duck hunting is permitted:

  • on Game Reserves explicitly declared in the open season notice. There are restrictions in place for the 2024 Open Season on game reserves – maps of Game Reserves become available in early February 2024.
  • on some unalienated Crown land; there are areas of unalienated Crown land excluded for hunting in the 2024 open season. Details of these areas will be available here mid-February.
  • on private land and dedicated Crown land with the written permission of the landowner. A template that can be used to seek landholder permission on private and dedicated Crown land is available here.

Hunting is not permitted within:

  • all reserves and sanctuaries constituted under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972 (except for specified game reserves),
  • all wilderness protection areas and all wilderness protection zones constituted under the Wilderness Protection Act 1992, and
  • all sanctuary zones within any marine park established under the Marine Parks Act 2007
  • an area within 150 metres either side of any barrage structure.

How can I get involved?


For each open season, a duck hunting permit is required to hunt duck. Applications for duck hunting permits will be available prior to the opening of the season through the Wildlife Permits System. Duck hunters are required to pass the Waterfowl Identification Test (WIT).

See ‘What do I need to know?’ before applying for a permit.

Waterfowl Identification Test

For information on the Waterfowl Identification Test or for more information on hunting permits please contact the DEW Fauna Permits Unit on (08) 8124 4972 or by email:

2024 Hunting Survey

2024 open season hunting permit holders are required to complete the 2024 Hunting Survey within 30 days of the conclusion of the open season. This survey provides useful information on the abundance of particular species that can provide indications of waterfowl population and distributions. This can provide valuable data to inform the declaration of future open seasons.

What firearms and shot can I use while duck hunting?

Protected game can only be taken with a firearm that:

  1. has a smooth bore diameter of 19 mm or less (12 gauge)
  2. can be raised and held at arms’ length and fired from the shoulder with no other support
  3. has a capacity of three (3) cartridges or less, or has a plugged magazine preventing more than three (3) cartridges from being loaded.

The permit holder is only permitted to use break action, bolt action and lever action (lever release not permitted) shotguns.


Protected game must not be taken with shot of a diameter more than 4.1 mm.

Bismuth, steel or molybdenum shot may be used for duck hunting in South Australia. Bismuth may be used in any shotgun that can use commercial lead 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.

Lead shot must not be used for duck hunting in South Australia, nor may you have it in your possession while duck 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.

What do I need to know?