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As an ethical hunter, you want to be sure that the cartridge you are using is powerful enough to produce a clean and quick kill. There are certain rules governing the size of cartridge used when hunting certain species so this information should be used only as a general guide.
Recommended minimum calibre
As an ethical hunter, you want to be sure that the cartridge you are using is powerful enough to produce a clean, quick one-shot kill. The following information suggests firearm and cartridge types for a variety of species. Of course, these are just general suggestions and with experience, you may develop your own preference suited to your needs.
Additionally, there are certain rules governing the size of cartridge used when hunting certain species, so the following information should be used only as a general guide. Victoria has minimum legal calibres for certain species of deer. Being a responsible and ethical hunter, you should always endeavour to be up-to-date with any regulations that indicate a specific cartridge type or calibre for a particular animal.
|Game animal||Minimum suggested cartridge||Maximum range|
|Rabbits and hares||.22 Rimfire||100m|
|Foxes and feral cats||.22 Rimfire||100m|
|Wild dogs||.222 Remington||200m|
|Feral goats||.22-250 Remington||100m|
|Feral pigs||.243 Winchester||150m|
|Small deer||.243 Winchester||150m|
|Large deer||.270 Winchester||200m|
NOTE: Shotguns may also be used with shot sizes to suit all species from #10 to solid projectiles.
Before squeezing the trigger all hunters should ensure they can 100 per cent positively identify their target. If in doubt, do not shoot.
To achieve a quick and ethical kill, the hunter must aim either at the head, to destroy the major centres at the back of the brain near the spinal cord or at the chest to destroy the heart, lungs and great blood vessels.
- Treat every firearm as loaded
- Always point firearms in a safe direction
- Load a firearms only when ready to fire
- Identify your target beyond all doubt
- Check your firing zone
- Store firearms and ammunition safely
- Avoid alcohol and drugs when handling firearms
- Never have loaded firearms in the car, home or camp
- Never fire at hard surfaces or water
- Don’t climb fences or obstacles with loaded firearms
- Leave gates as you find them
- Ask permission before lighting fires
- Keep cooking fires as small as possible
- Put your fires out properly before leaving
- Never gather firewood and use a chain-saw without prior permission
- Keep clear of stock routes
- Drive only on defined tracks
- Be especially careful with target identification and danger zones if spotlighting
- Keep away from water troughs
- Never contaminate stock water with soaps
- Take your rubbish away with you
- Ensure the property owner is well aware of your movements
- If you are successful, offer to share your game with the owner
- Report any suspicious or unusual events to the owner
- Don’t keep returning to the property with new people
- Look after the areas as if they were your own
- All personal waste must be buried
When you are enjoying Victoria’s great hunting opportunities, be mindful that the future of hunting depends on how you conduct yourself as a hunter. Every hunter should be an ambassador for the recreation.
As a responsible hunter you should always:
- Respect animals: Only take what you can use; make optimal use of harvested quarry; shoot only when you can retrieve your quarry; shoot only when a humane result is possible; use the right equipment to effectively and humanely hunt animals; look after your hunting dogs.
- Respect the environment: Take all your litter (including empty cartridges) with you; bury or remove animal remains; drive only on designated tracks; keep campfires safe; leave your campsite clean; protect our wetlands and waterways; take part in efforts to protect and restore wildlife habitats.
- Respect other hunters: Be respectful and courteous if hunting or camping in the same area as other people; be safe and abide by the law so everyone is on a level playing field; share your knowledge and skills with others.
- Respect the hunt: Hunt safely and abide by the Firearms Safety Code; lead by example; respect our cultural heritage; always hunt within the law and report illegal behaviour; uphold the highest ethical standards; promote and praise good behaviour; know your skill limits and hunt within them; improve and maintain your skills through practice and/or joining a sub-club.
- Respect non-hunters: Help others and be courteous; thoughtfully carry hunting equipment and harvested quarry; respect the opinions of non-hunters; only enter private property with permission; share the harvest with a non-hunter and promote the culinary/sustainability benefits of hunting.
- Respect the laws: Take time to know the laws and act within them at all times; work with Authorised Officers; don’t tolerate illegal behaviour; report suspected offenders on 136 186.
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