Can you hunt and fish during the lockdown?

hunting and fishing during lockdown

BREAKING NEWS TASMANIA: Last week, we announced the early closing of public land hunting in Tasmania due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Today, the Tasmanian Premier announced a four week lockdown of Tasmanian residents, which had many people asking what this means for hunting and fishing. We called Wildlife Services and asked them directly whether you can hunt or fish during lockdown. Here is the answer. 

From midnight Monday 30 March 2020, Tasmanians will only be able to leave their place of primary residence for one of the following reasons: 

  • Collecting essential supplies
  • Attending medical appointments or seeking medical care
  • Attending work or school (if you cannot do so from home)
  • Providing compassionate care to a sick or elderly relative or neighbour
  • Getting exercise (restricted to 2 people with the exception of households)

Please note: It is an offence to leave your home for any other reason. If you do not comply, you can be arrested and charged by police and face fines of up to $16,800 and up to 6 months in prison. 

So what does this mean for hunting and fishing, or any other outdoor pursuits? 

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According to Wildlife Services, at this stage, they are not closing the hunting season. However, you will only be able to hunt on your own property or primary place of residence. You WILL NOT be able to travel from your primary place of residence to another location to take part in hunting or fishing activities.

We know that this information is a blow for many hunters who will not be able to continue hunting. We are in the same boat ourselves in being unable to hunt, as are the people we spoke to in Wildlife Services. Keep in mind that, as much as we love hunting and fishing, there are many people who have lost jobs and many people who are at serious risk of illness or death from Covid-19. We cannot afford to be seen as a community that flouts the rules and puts the public in danger. Let’s all do our bit and ‘bite the bullet’ for the next few weeks to keep our family and friends safe. 

Many hunters and fishermen have shacks, and may be questioning how these rules apply to them. Wildlife Services asked us to refer to the official position of the Premier. 

According to the Premier’s live press conference this morning, the ruling on shacks is as follows: 

Travel back and forwards between shacks and your primary residence is NOT allowed. However, if you are already self-isolating or in residence at your shack or property, and choose to stay there for the remaining four weeks, you can do so. You can also choose to relocate to your shack or property provided you choose to stay there for the full duration of the lockdown. Again, you cannot travel back and forwards between your primary residence and your shack or property. You will need to make a choice as to which you want to be your primary place of residence for the next 4 weeks. 

DISCLAIMER: This information applies to Tasmania only. 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 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:

If you require any further information please contact Robin Thompson at DPIPWE by email on robin.thompson@dpipwe.tas.gov.au or telephone 03 6777 2157.

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