The stubble quail is the only native quail species that can be legally hunted in Victoria. A number of introduced game birds may also be hunted, however, most of these introduced game birds are only found on licensed game bird farms. The average opening day bag of stubble quail over the last five seasons has been about eight birds per hunter and the average total seasonal harvest for each hunter over the same period is about 34 birds.
The open season for stubble quail occurs when the population is at its maximum and to avoid periods of vulnerability. The closed season is timed to prevent hunting during breeding, moulting, temperature extremes and food shortage. Hunters can only use shotguns that do not exceed 12-gauge to hunt stubble quail.
The open season for Stubble quail is from 30 minutes before sunrise on the first Saturday in April until 30 minutes after sunset on June 30, each year.
Stubble quail hunting predominantly occurs on private property in stubble paddocks and grasslands, however, 16 State Game Reserves are open to Stubble quail hunting. Visit the Game Management Authority’s website for more information.
The bag limit of 20 birds per day for Stubble quail minimises any long-term effects of harvesting on the overall population and ensures that the harvest of the bird is shared equitably among recreational quail hunters.
To avoid wounding and improve your chances of taking home quail, following the below tips:
- Positively identify the target as a game species
- Make sure the bird is within your effective shooting skills range
- Single out a bird to the rear or side and do not fire into flocks (this may injure other birds including non-game species)
- Pattern test your gun to ensure you are using the correct choke and shotshell combination to take the birds you are hunting
- Don’t hunt in areas where it is difficult to recover downed birds
- Use a well-trained gun dog to retrieve downed birds
- Make sure you practice regularly to improve and maintain your shooting skills
- Enroll in the next Shotgunning Education Program date to learn more about effective shooting
Illegal hunters have the potential to destroy the public’s perception of all hunters. They can also put the lives of others hunters at risk. Licensed shooters are encouraged to report any irresponsible or illegal behaviour by calling 136 186 or for emergencies calling 000.