New information on hunting in Tasmania during Covid-19 lockdown

Can hunters stay out overnight in Tasmania

BREAKING NEWS TASMANIA: The Tasmanian government have released new information relating to hunting and fishing during the Covid-19 lockdown. Read on to find out what you can and can’t do while hunting and fishing. 

No overnight stays!

Earlier this week, Premier Peter Gutwein specifically mentioned that hunting and fishing would still be allowed during lockdown in Tasmania. This was positive news for many Tasmanians who consider hunting and fishing to be both a valid form of exercise and an important way for them to obtain meat to feed their families and pets. But it is important to note that, while hunting and fishing are allowed, there are some restrictions around what you can and can’t do while hunting and fishing. One of the most important restrictions to be aware of is the rule around overnight hunting and fishing trips. In short, they are not allowed, and all hunters and fishers must return to their primary residence the same day that they are hunting or fishing! 

The information below has been taken directly from the Coronavirus Tasmania website. To read this for yourself, go to https://coronavirus.tas.gov.au/families-community/gatherings-faqs/hunting-in-tasmania-faqs

How far can I travel to hunt or fish?

According to the government website, you must return to your primary place of residence the same day that you depart to go hunting or fishing. 

Staying at shacks, cabins or camping while hunting or fishing is not permitted. 

This aligns with the Premier’s previous comments for all Tasmanians around travelling to and from shacks and that is that the Premier does not want people travelling between their primary residence and a shack, cabin, or secondary residence. 

The only exception to this is if you are already self-isolating at your shack or property and intend to remain their for the full duration of the lockdown.

The Premier has also stated that camping is not permitted at all during the lockdown.

This rule will impact where you can practically go to hunt or fish, as it will need to be at a suitable distance to allow you to travel to and from, and to partake in hunting and fishing all within the same day. 

How many people can I hunt with? 

The two person rule applies to all gatherings in Tasmania including hunting and fishing. This means that you will only be able to hunt or fish with one other person besides yourself. The only exception is where all members belong to the same household. 

Can I still buy hunting and fishing supplies?

Yes, at this stage, there are no restrictions around purchasing ammunition, firearms, bait or other necessary equipment to hunt and fish, including boating supplies. 

You should try to limit your stops as much as possible, particularly in regional communities with older populations or limited access to healthcare services. This includes avoiding stops at food stores, public toilets or retail stores in regional areas if you can. 

Hunters should also maintain good personal hygiene. This includes washing hands thoroughly using soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitiser, coughing or sneezing into a tissue or your elbow, and maintaining social distancing of at least 1.5 metres between you and your hunting or fishing companion. 

Where can I hunt?

All public reserves remain closed, and there is no public access allowed to land and water managed by Sustainable Timber Tasmania or Hydro Tasmania. 

Many private landholders are practicing social distancing and have chosen to self-isolate on their properties. Many properties are also working farms with strict bio-security measures in place. Even if you are usually allowed access to private land, it is important to ask permission from the owner or manager, as things may have changed as a result of Covid-19 management policies. 

Have hunting seasons closed?

No. Hunting seasons remain open for wild deer, wild duck and mutton birds, but hunters are asked to ensure they observe any restrictions around land access where they would normally hunt. This is particularly important for muttonbirding, as much of this takes place on reserved land, which is closed to the public. 

The Premier did announce yesterday that the 2020 Tasmanian scallop season will not open. For the latest updates on changes to other fishing seasons, check https://dpipwe.tas.gov.au/sea-fishing-aquaculture/recreational-fishing/recreational-fishing-seasons or https://www.ifs.tas.gov.au/the-rules/season-dates-and-times

Can I get a refund on my game licence?

According to DPIPWE, hunters will not be able to get a refund on game licences for wild deer, duck or wallaby, as these seasons were already underway prior to closures and they believe hunters have had a fair chance to hunt these species. 

Can I still take wildlife under a Crop Protection Permit?

Yes. Landholders and their authorised employees or hunters can still take browsing wildlife if they hold the appropriate Crop Protection Permits. However, landholders should consider how to manage the risk of visitors to the property potentially introducing coronavirus. 

For information related directly to fishing and boating, go to https://coronavirus.tas.gov.au/families-community/gatherings-faqs/boating-and-fishing-faqs

DISCLAIMER: This information was accurate at the time of publication. Due to the fast-changing nature of current events, we cannot guarantee the accuracy after publication and acknowledge things may change. We are doing all we can to see clarification from the relevant authorities before publishing updates.

Please note, this applies only to Tasmania. We are not aware what changes have been made or how they apply to hunters in other states or countries. We strongly urge you to contact your local government departments to ask directly how any changes, regulations or lockdowns affects your ability to hunt or fish. We would also like to make it clear that we are not the official source of information for this, but simply passing on important information to our members and followers. For official information on Covid-19, please refer to the following websites:

What is I Am Hunter?

I Am Hunter has a lofty goal to change the way hunting is perceived in the community. Hunters can find a wide range of tools and resources to help them improve their skills and become positive role models and advocates for the hunting community. 

I Am Hunter is a member-supported website. By paying a small monthly or annual fee, members help keep most of the content free, which in turn helps to spread a positive message about hunting with the wider community.

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Related content

If you would like to know more about hunting wallabies, kangaroos or deer in Tasmania, check out these related articles and podcasts. 

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