We have an opportunity to manage feral deer in The Northern Rivers now, before their numbers grow out-of-control.

The best way to manage feral deer in our region is by working together as a community, to keep their numbers low, and to limit their impacts.

This means staying on feral deer alert, observing new signs, reporting deer sightings to Deer Scan and taking action as soon as you see a feral deer in your area.

Steps to managing feral deer early

There are some simple steps we can all take to help manage feral deer in the Northern Rivers:

  1. Identify any feral deer you see, what direction they are moving in and how many of them there are.
  2. Report all feral deer sightings on Deer Scan as soon as you see them.
  3. Record any damage to plants, fencing, feed lots and crops.
  4. Let other farmers or land managers know if deer are in your area so they can be on Feral Deer Alert too.
Download the Landholder Guide

Feral deer management techniques

There are only two effective techniques for managing feral deer in Australia:

  1. Ground shooting
  2. Aerial shooting

These strategies are expensive and resource intensive, particularly once feral deer numbers get out of control.

That’s why it is so important for landholders and the community to work together, so we can act now to remove them humanely while their numbers are still small.

Find out more about feral deer management  on the following websites:


Experienced recreational hunters can help with effective control of feral deer populations. This needs to be done in a safe and coordinated way to help keep feral deer numbers low.

If you are an experienced recreational hunter contact Rachel Hughes, Feral Deer Management Officer, or (02) 6670 2710.

Feral deer hunting regulations

Feral deer are declared game animals under the Game and Feral Animal Control Act 2002. This means deer hunting in NSW is controlled and regulated. There are a number of restrictions on how and when deer hunting can be carried out. Although landholders and immediate family are exempt, game licences are required by people conducting recreational, commercial and professional hunting of deer species, both on private and public land.

Visit the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) website for more information.

Managing feral deer in NSW

Certain deer hunting regulations that were suspended in 2018 have been extended for another 5 years, until 15 November 2026.

Private land hunters with permission to hunt from a landholder or occupier do not require a game hunting licence.

Individuals seeking to target feral deer on public land must:

Visit the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) website for more information.

The Challenge of Managing Feral Deer

ABC Landline put together a great video about the challenges of managing feral deer.