5 Duck Hunting Tips Every Australian Needs to Know


With the 2024 Duck Hunting Season fast approaching Beretta Australia has put together the top tips to help you achieve a successful duck hunt. We know you’re eager to get out there and harvest some ducks, but these 5 tips can help hunters at any level this upcoming Australian Duck Hunting season and ensure a future for the much loved tradition of hunting.

Waterfowl Identification

If you would like to secure yourself a duck as quickly and efficiently as possible you better know your duck species. It is a requirement for all game hunters to have passed a Waterfowl Identification Test before applying for a Game Licence. To avoid legal trouble, familiarise yourself with hunting regulations. Each season has different permitted species. You can find the specific information by going to your specific states website.


For 2024, the Victorian duck hunting season will begin on April 10th and finish on June 5th.

The permitted duck species that can be hunted are:

  • grey teal
  • chestnut teal
  • Pacific black duck
  • Australian shelduck (mountain duck)
  • maned (wood) duck.
  • pink-eared duck.

There is a bag limit of 6 ducks per licensed hunter per day.

Hunting start time is 8am each day of the entire season, and each day’s hunting closes 30 minutes after sunset. Visit the VIC game management authority website for up-to-date information.

South Australia

For 2024, the South Australian duck hunting season will begin on March 16th and finish on June 30th.

The permitted duck species that can be hunted are:

  • grey teal
  • chestnut teal
  • Pacific black duck
  • Australian shelduck (mountain duck)
  • maned (wood) duck.
  • pink-eared duck.
  • Hardhead

There is a bag limit of 10 ducks per licensed hunter per day.

Hunting start time is sunrise each day of the entire season, and each day’s hunting closes at sunset. Visit the SA game management authority website for up-to-date information.


For 2024, the Tasmanian duck hunting season will begin on March 9th and finish on June 10th.

The permitted duck species that can be hunted are:

  • black duck
  • grey teal
  • chestnut teal
  • mountain duck
  • wood duck

There is a bag limit of 10 ducks per licensed hunter per day. Visit the TAS game management authority website for up-to-date information.

Northern Territory

2024 duck hunting season – TBA

Visit the NT game management authority website for up-to-date information.

Duck Species


Plan Ahead

As the quote goes “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail” and this is certainly true for duck hunting. Take your hunting seriously and locate all the authorised duck hunting places by visiting the website of your state’s game management authority. The more to explore app, which you can download on your phone, is a useful interactive tool that allows you to view all of Victoria’s permitted hunting areas. With this knowledge at hand, you may make more informed decisions about the equipment and tactics that will be required.

To increase your chance of success, get to your spot early to scout the area and collect intel about the duck species that are present as well as their behaviour, habits, and routes. Making a concerted effort to get down to your spot often will allow you to more accurately predict the water level. Also, don’t forget to check the weather. It is generally considered that wet, cooler, overcast days are the best environment for duck movement. Before the hunt, this information you gathered should be used to develop the appropriate hunting and recovery tactics.

Ducks have excellent eyesight and can easily spot unnatural shapes and colours. While not a magic solution, camouflage hunting gear can allow you to blend in with the natural environment disrupting the human outline as well as breaking up human movement. This will allow you to stay hidden for longer, significantly increasing your chance of a successful hunt. If you’re looking for high-quality camouflage gear our Beretta Goretex Optifade Stalking Jacket is perfect paired with the matching pants. Or if you want a more traditional waterfowl pattern our Beretta Goretex Optifade Waterfowl Pants will do the trick.

Camo Hunting Jacket Camo Hunting Pants Waterfowl Hunting Pants

Don’t forget that lead shot for duck hunting is prohibited in all states and territories. Each state and territory has a set list of alternatives to lead shot that you can use. We recommend our RC Steel Shot or RC Steel Shot High Performance which are approved in all duck hunting states & territories. Not all ammunition can be used with every firearm so if you’re new to non-toxic shot please contact your gunsmith or reach out to our team for assistance about your gun’s ability to handle non-toxic shot.

RC Steel Shot Ammunition RC Steel Shot High Performance Ammunition

Use Decoys

The purpose of decoys is to draw ducks within a reasonable shooting distance. Decoys can significantly increase a waterfowl hunter’s success when used properly. After you’ve gathered information about their behaviour you can take your duck hunting to another level by employing strategic decoys. The goal is to lull the ducks into a false sense of security by knowing their habits. Like all hunting you must be able to think like the animal being hunted so you know where they will be. This will assist you in choosing the right place and decoy layout.

Game ducks will typically fly above the decoys and land about 20 metres away, usually facing the wind, as opposed to landing right among them. Place your stand or blind upwind of your decoys keeping this in mind.

The wind on the day should strongly influence your decoy layout. Whilst these decoy strategies can be very different, the prevailing idea across all of them is that there should be a clear landing area for the ducks. Generally 15-30 metres in front of the hunter is ideal as this will bring them into your effective shooting range.

Common Decoy Spreads

J Decoy Pattern

Duck Hunting J Decoy Pattern

Cross-wind, J-hook mimics a feeding group, turns ducks towards open water.


V Decoy Pattern

Duck Hunting V Decoy Pattern

Wind at your back, Classic feeding funnel, wide V with opening facing wind for downwind landing.


Dotted “i” Decoy Pattern

Duck Hunting Dotted I Decoy Pattern

Strong parallel wind, single line of resting ducks with scattered feeders around.



Reducing wounding whilst hunting will be one of the biggest determining factors in the preservation of waterfowl hunting. With that being said, it is important that you’re honest about your shooting skill level. Having good shooting skills will result in fewer cartridges being used and thus a reduction in ammunition costs. You will enjoy the hunt more and reduce fatigue on the body as well as potential wounding caused to ducks.

Once you have accurately assessed your shooting abilities you can decide whether you need more practice to ensure that you can reliably dispatch game birds. If you do need more practice get in touch with your local clay target club. We recommend Sporting Clays as it is a challenging clay target discipline which can simulate field shooting. They take place in natural settings and targets are distributed in a manner similar to the flight trajectory of a game bird such as flushing, crossing, incoming and various other angles. Putting in the hours of work in the training ground is what will pay dividends out on the field. If you’re breaking upwards of 75% of your targets then you’re in good stead for this to translate into your success during the real thing.

Enjoy Yourself

Last but not least, remember to have fun. Every year, this hobby keeps tens of thousands of Australians active. Appreciate honing your abilities and becoming knowledgeable about the specifics of the duck species you hunt as well as the fruits of your labour. Celebrate those damp, chilly, early mornings with pride. Be patient and relish the hunt; it’s all part of the game.

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