Hunting permits have gone on-line!! You can now get your own permits from the comfort of your own home, at any time of the day. To get a permit, check out permits and licenses on the hunting section of the DOC website.
The new permit system has come about as a direct result of DOC trying to do things a bit better for hunters. We want to make it as easy as possible for responsible hunters to hunt legally. In my first year in the job, I often heard complaints about the old hunting permit system. These ranged from frustrations with trying to get to the relevant office to get a permit through to inconsistencies in conditions between neighbouring areas. Hopefully, we have sorted this out with the new, national on-line system. As a National System, you can now get a permit for anywhere in the country from any DOC office, or even the comfort of their own home.
The new permit system has a “tick box” option to receive alerts. If hunters tick this, then we are able to send them information that might affect their hunting – such as an upcoming culling operation, or a hut or track closure. We will not be using this facility to send out spam.
The permit kill return system had been dropped off the new system. It has been run for 20+ years and, despite a couple of local exceptions, has never gathered any useful data. We have also removed the need to supply your firearms licence to get a permit. There are enough exceptions to requiring FAL (e.g. bow hunters) that it makes this problematic for the system. What it boiled down to was that we wanted to make it as easy as possible for responsible hunters to hunt legally. The permit states a number of conditions that must be met for the permit to be valid, including having a firearms licence if you are using a firearm. If someone gets a permit and isn’t following the conditions, like they don’t have a firearms license, then the permit is invalid and they don’t have the Department’s permission to be hunting on the public lands.
The National (on-line) Hunting Permit System makes it easier for hunters to get a permit and hence to hunt legally and safely on public conservation lands. It will enable hunters to get a permit to hunt at any time from any computer with an internet connection. The permit system allows one permit to be issued for multiple areas in the country. I know it isn’t perfect, but it is a lot better than the old system.