Permission for private land hunting essential, Feds says

 23 April, 2020

Clarification of what hunting will be permitted after we move to COVID-19 Alert 3 is helpful, Federated Farmers says, but it is essential the hunters get permission to access private land.

“It’s good to have clarity on the rules that will apply, and that the government is continuing to strike a good balance between a planned return to where we were while keeping the risk of spread of the virus to a minimum,” Feds rural security and firearms spokesperson Miles Anderson said.

The government announced today that recreational hunting for big and small game will be allowed under Level 3 on private land only.   But, as has always been the case, hunters must gain the landowner’s permission.

“Farmers, who have been able to continue vital pest control under Level 4, will welcome the return of responsible hunters from Tuesday next week to boost their own efforts to keep numbers of rabbit, deer, wallabies, wild pigs and goats under control.

“But bear in mind there is no obligation on the farm business to let hunters on the land – it must work for the ‘bubble’ of the farm and within the rules, such as no use of motorised vehicles by recreational hunters while on private land,” Miles said.

The government has also announced that the game bird season will open on the second Saturday following the introduction of Alert Level 2, except if that date falls on May 30. The game bird season will not open at Queen’s Birthday weekend specifically to avoid Moving Day on the 1st of June, an important date in the rural calendar when large numbers of farmers move to new farms.

“We appreciate the thinking on this, and confirmation the gamebird season – an important rural/urban tradition that keeps bird numbers under control – will go ahead when it is consistent with the pandemic precautions.  Feds thanks Fish & Game for supporting this.”