An open season for duck hunting has been declared for South Australia in 2023. 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 30 minutes prior to sunrise on Saturday 18 March 2023 to 30 minutes after sunset on Sunday 25 June 2023.
Important: Some game reserves have restricted dates for the 2023 open season.
Times permitted for duck hunting:
Shooting is permitted between 30 minutes prior to sunrise 30 minutes after sunset on any given day of the open season at approved locations.
What duck species am I permitted to hunt?
For the 2023 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)
What duck species am I not permitted to hunt?
Hunting of the
- Australasian (blue-winged) shoveler (Anas rhynchotis)
- pink-eared duck (Malacorhynchus membranaceus), and
- hardhead (Aythya australis)
are not permitted for the 2023 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 eight (8) 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 2023 Open Season on game reserves – maps of Game Reserves will be available in early February 2023.
- on some unalienated Crown land; there are areas of unalienated Crown land excluded for hunting in the 2023 open season. Details of these areas are available here.
- 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 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.
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: DEWFaunaPermitsUnit@sa.gov.au.
Voluntary Hunter Survey
Hunters are encouraged to complete the 2023 voluntary hunter survey during the upcoming 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:
- has a smooth bore diameter of 19 mm or less (12 gauge)
- can be raised and held at arms’ length and fired from the shoulder with no other support.
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?
- Information You Need to Know - Open Season Duck Hunting Permit summarises the regulatory requirements you must comply with including permitted firearm gauge, diameter and shot for open season hunting.
- Modern Hunting in South Australia - A guide for responsible and sustainable hunting is a useful resource with information on how hunters can hunt safely, responsibly and sustainably and the rules and regulations for hunting in SA.
- It is important to act lawfully in accordance with the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972and regulations, the Animal Welfare Act 1985, the Firearms Act 2015 and other legislation that may apply.
- Hunting on game reserves
- 2023 Duck Hunting Limitations Restrictions and Conditions