Bowhunting FAQ's

Q: Hi. I've been shooting in a club for about five years and I've just started hunting. My current club does not have anything for me hunting wise and I was wondering if I could join your association. Thank you



As an individual you are welcome to join our Association, and your club is also able to affiliate with the ABA. I am not sure who your current club is affiliated with but the Australian Bowhunters Association is made up of nearly 100 affiliated clubs, as well as independent members. These clubs offer bowhunting proficiency courses and many other aspects to do with hunting and hunter education. You could join one of these clubs and sit your bowhunter proficiency certificate. However this is not a hunting permit. Most Australian States have different hunting permit requirements and these need to be obtained separately via that States hunting permit offices or web site. ABA clubs also offer training and activities in field archery.


Q: Hello there I was wondering about the laws regarding BowFishing.

Is it legal ? if so in what waters, etc... anything you can tell me will help!



The laws on bowfishing vary from State to State so you really have to be aware of what is legal in your area. Hearsay does not stand up in court so you have to research the rules depending on where you are considering bowfishing.

However generally bowfishing is covered by the spearfishing regulations unless stipulated otherwise in State regulations. In Victoria bowfishing is not legal at all although spearfishing is, same as Tasmania. South Australia is also the same except for tributaries of the Murray River where you can bowfish for Carp only. I believe that all the other States allow bowfishing under spearfishing regulations which also means you are governed by that States general fishing regulations.


Q: I would like to know about the Public Liability insurance you guys offer, I was told that you need to pass the Bowhunting Proficiency Test before you are covered and that I need to wait 3 months to do it



As an ABA member you are covered by our public liability insurance whilst participating in archery related activities on your own club’s, or any other ABA affiliated archery course. Whilst hunting you are covered by the same Public Liability insurance and the ABA’s policy is that you complete your Bowhunting Proficiency test before you venture out hunting. You have to be an ABA member for 3 months before you can sit this test.


Q: I currently hold an A and B category firearm license.

I now would like to hunt using a crossbow,

Could you please direct me to the current process in obtaining the permit.



The ABA does not handle crossbows or sanction their use on our courses. They are totally banned in some Australian States. Some Sates list them within the firearms registry or you require a permit to own one.

Sorry we can’t help you here you will have to make enquires with the district firearms officer in which ever state you are in.


Q: Hello, I want to enquire regarding a bowhunting permit to hunt in Australia. Do I need one as a non-resident or visiting bowhunter.



In Australia you will not need a specific non-resident hunting permit. However each Australian State has differing regulations. These apply to both residents of that State, residents of Australia and non-residents alike.

In Victoria to hunt deer you will need a permit to hunt and hunting is available on public lands. The permit is available from the Victorian Dept of Primary Industries. No permits are required for any other introduced species but permission is required to hunt private property.

Queensland doesn’t require any type of permit to hunt any animal in that State. All that is required is that you have permission from the property owner.

NSW requires you to have a G or R license to hunt deer it is available from the New South Wales dept of Primary Industries. No permit is required to hunt any other introduced species on private property. Some public land hunting is becoming available to hunt on a booking basis.

South Australia has a small game permit system and virtually no public land hunting. Permission on private property is required.

Western Australia has currently no permit system and no public land hunting. Written permission is required for all private property hunting.

Northern Territory has the permission from the land owner requirement.

Tasmania has no Bowhunting.


Q: What the minimum bow poundage required to hunt in Australia?



The ABA has no minimum recommendation on poundage for hunting. There are State regulations that require minimum standards of poundage and arrow weight. In Victoria these are specifically for deer. 50 and 45 pound depending on the species.

The ABA recommends that you hunt at distances which will enable the hunter to have, as far as practicable, quick clean kills.

This obviously has to have some regard to the maximum poundage you can shoot effectively.


Q: I live in out back WA. I am 500 km from the nearest archery club. In regards to WA bow laws what are your recommendations for justification for "legal reason" for owning/ carrying a bow? Does ABA membership and a property access letter suffice? It is not all that practical to join a local club and serve out the probation period due to the distances and time frames required.



I am unsure of the exact requirements of “legal reason” for bow ownership in WA you would have to get those regulations from the particular department in WA.

However I would think that ABA membership and a written letter from the property owner would suffice and you don’t have to be a club member to be an ABA member. You can join as an independent. However it would be our recommendation that you still do our Bowhunting Proficiency at a club as soon as you can. Again you do not have to belong to a club to do your BPC, but obviously we encourage club membership whenever possible.


Q: I was wondering if there was any specified licence to hunt animals with a bow that are classed as pests/vermin i.e anything that is not a game animal. I am planning on visiting Australia in a couple of years from the UK and would love to find out as much information as I can about the hunting laws. I have read that in Australia you need a licence to own any firearm that can be carried loaded but do not need a licence to own a bow as long as it’s not a crossbow thank you in advance



You are correct with the firearm licence, you require a licence for any firearm in Australia.

You do not require a licence for a bow, other than a crossbow, which is covered under the firearms act in most States.

For introduced/pest species other than deer you do not require a licence but you will require permission from the landowner.

Nearly all hunting of introduced/pest species, and that is all that can be hunted in Australia, is conducted on private property.

There are some crown land hunting of deer but you will require a hunting licence for those from the State that you would be hunting in.


Q: I will be visiting Australia from the UK and was enquiring if you would you be able to send me a list of all non game animals that do not require a licence to hunt for all States of Australia. As I’m not sure on where I will be travelling to yet is there some form of book that can provide me with this information with pictures included. Also do you know if there is a book on survival in the outback i.e shows you what fruits and vegetables that can be eaten and ones that can’t as I am planning on living off the land when I visit as I do the same in the UK because it’s the way I live and have been brought up thank you in advance if you can help me.



Western Australian has Donkeys, Camels, Rabbits (down south), goats, foxes, feral cats, pigs and Buffalo (up north).

Northern Territory has Camels, Buffalo, Donkeys, feral cats and Pigs.

Queensland has Pigs, Goats, foxes, rabbits, feral cats, camels, buffalo.

New South Wales has Pigs, Goats, foxes, rabbits, hares, feral cats,

Victoria has Rabbits, foxes, goats, pigs, hares and feral cats

South Australia has Rabbits, hares, foxes, goats, pigs, feral cats, camels.

All States have species of deer but a lot of these require a hunting permit.

No bowhunting in Tasmania.

There is a bit of everything in most states but very small numbers of those I didn’t mention.

You have to remember that all these animals are on private property and in some cases are classed as stock, you have to have permission to hunt or to even have access otherwise you will be trespassing. Even in the outback. You may not see a homestead for hundreds of miles and all the roads are unfenced but all the areas are working cattle stations and you cannot just hunt, or even enter without permission.

Wild fruits or vegetables are very hard to track down in most of Australia. There are some books on native fruits and vegetables which I am sure you could access off the internet. There is a book called pest animals of Australia. It is long out of print but again you may get access off the internet.

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