Hunting in Western Australia can often be difficult. At the time this is written in 2020 there is currently no public land hunting and all hunting must be done on private property with the permission of the land owner. Even though this makes the starting journey a little harder, if you follow EP - 3 of our podcast on gaining access I give a detailed guide to door knocking. Thankfully there is a lot of land in this state and even though some areas are very difficult to gain access, for every hunt-able species in this state, door knocking can gain you access to the areas they are in.
Guns can be difficult to licence here in WA but most local gunshops are extremely helpful and will support with the beginning journey. We recommend most people get a .223 or larger calibre to start purely because this opens up legal roo hunting with the correct tags and can make gaining access easier. Combine this with a .22 or 17hmr for rabbit and fox hunting on small acreages with minimal meat loss.
Bows are a great ethical way to hunt animals when done right. All bowhunting must still be done on private land. If you are interested in bowhunting we suggest you talk to Strongarm Archery. There is a lot to learn with bows and Vaughn can guide you to the right set up and tune it for you. Compound bows need to be tuned to their user, untuned bows are more difficult to gain the required accuracy for hunting.
There are many feral species available for hunting in this state. These include rabbits, foxes, cats, pigs, fallow deer, red deer, rusa deer, goats, donkeys, horses, camels, scrub bulls and dogs. You can also hunt kangaroos in WA, however to take them off the property even in open shires where cull permits are not needed, landholders must obtain personal use roo tags.
If you are just getting into hunting with your firearm in WA and want to get out door knocking, looking at areas that hold rabbits, foxes and need roo control are a great place to start. With minimal commercial roo processors in WA there has been a boom in populations and many farmers need shooters out there helping with control. With the previous mentioned personal use roo tags this is a great way to get out and fill some freezers. You will often find if you do the right thing on these properties more access will open up for you and you will get permission to hunt more land holding more species.
Goats are spread out in this state with pockets all over, these populations vary greatly but the majority being on station country. If you are looking at hunting goats the best option is trying to find small populations in farming country and small acreages. Due to the high value of goats as an export animal, most stations use them as a renewable resource mustering them every few years. As such they are often very protective of them.
Pigs are spread out throughout the state and spreading quickly. Due to their highly destructive nature they can be one of the easier big game animals to get access to. However in areas with known populations difficulty can arise due to poachers illegally trespassing. Provided good meat handling techniques they can be a great freezer filler here in WA. We have had lots of success hunting dawn and dusk as they move in to damage paddocks. Pigs have an extremely high fecundity rate so make sure to target the large sows when you get the chance. We have found that if the lead sow was taken out first often the mob would be confused and give us the chance to take out more of them. We have witnessed mobs of up to 20+ pigs here in WA but usually we see 4-8 depending on if there is a litter with them.
We have 3 different types of deer here in WA, fallow, reds and rusa. Fallow are likely to be the most widespread with multiple populations in the state followed by reds and then rusa. Deer are a well kept secret here as most populations are not doing well and consist of less than 30 animals. Because of the small populations and increased demand on hunting they can be difficult to gain access to. It personally took me 4.5 years of door knocking and hunting to gain access to a deer property. I eventually got the chance to take a nice fallow that was in a bachelor mob of 3. Since then increased pressure has seen that population all but disappear. We highly encourage people that finally get access to deer populations to learn their population. By figuring out how many animals are in an area and how much pressure they are taking you can create a renewable resource for generations to come. Unlike pigs where best efforts to remove them has failed, all deer populations could easily be wiped out, and some have been.
Donkeys, Horses, Camels, Scrub Bull
These are all mostly found on station country and can be difficult to access. With long drives required they can be difficult areas to door knock. All but the scrub bulls can be accessed relatively easily if you are willing to put the km's in. Scrub cattle are often mustered by station owners, so even though they are feral, they can be worth $1000's. The ones available for hunting are often the angriest of the bunch and uncatchable. They will be found in the thickest, most inaccessible country there is and offer a great hunt when the opportunity arrises.