How to get your R Licence and hunt state forest and public land in NSW

So you’re keen to get out there and hunt goats, pigs deer and small game in New South Wales beautiful state forest, but you don’t know where to start? This guide is designed to help you in your journey towards hunting on public land in NSW, understanding what an R-Licence is and how you go about getting it.

Below you will find some quick links you can use to skip to various sections of this guide.

#1 What is an R Licence?

A R-License is a special hunting license that is administered and managed by the NSW DPI (the branch of the NSW state government who manage hunting).

The R-License allows you to hunt with a rifle or bow on designated public land in NSW, specifically state forest.

Note that an R-License IS NOT the same as a fire arm license. If you want to hunt in NSW state forest with a rifle you will need both a firearms license and an R-License. If you are wanting to hunt in a NSW state forest with a bow you only require the R-License.

#2 Who can apply for an R-Licence?

There are only two requirements for applying for an R-License.

  1. You must be over 12 years old can apply for an R-License.
  2. You must be a member of an registered NSW AHO (covered in the next step)

You do not have to be a resident of New South Wales in order to get an R-License. Anyone in Australia can apply.

Both rifle and bow hunters can apply.

#3 R-License requirements and joining an AHO

In order the get an R-License you first need to be a member of an NSW approved hunting organisation (AHO), a hunting club. This needs to happen before you do anything else. If you are not a member of an AHO you cannot sit the test required to get the R-License.

#4 Completing the R-Licence Accreditation Course

Once you’ve signed up to be a member of an AHO you then need to sit the R-Licence Accreditation Course which can be done online via the NSW DPI Hunter-Ed link below.

The first thing you will need to do is create an account.

Once you have created the account and you will then need to pay the 40.00 AUD course fee.

Once paid you can start the course.

The course is divided into two sections.

  1. Section 1: Compulsory learning

    NSW Hunter Education program

    This compulsory section contains learning that gives you the basic knowledge required to be safe, ethical and responsible hunter.

  2. Section 2: R-Licence categories

    There are 3 different ways you can hunt in NSW state forest. To use any of these 3 hunting methods on public land, you must first become accredited for the relevant category by completing the training module in this course. For instance if you are only planning on hunting with a firearm you only need to complete that module.

    The three hunting methods permitted to be used when hunting on public land in NSW are:

    • Firearms (rifles, shotguns and blackpowder firearms)
    • Bows
    • Dogs

Completing all 3 modules is the best way to go and doesn’t take that much more time or cost any more. It’s worth doing so you have options in the future if you want to try a different hunting style.


#5 Applying for your R-Licence

Once you have completed your R License course and passed you will be issued with your ‘R-Licence Accreditation Form.’ Now you are ready to apply for your R-Licence online which you can do using the link below.

Note, when you apply for your R-Licence online you will need to attach to your application for your ‘R-Licence Accreditation Form’ along with proof of your AHO membership (a membership certificate with your member number will do) – contact support at the Australian Hunters Club here if you need it sent again.

The R-License application also has a fee, which will depend on how long you want the license to be active for.

Applications for New South Wales Game Hunting Licences are processed within 20 working days (four weeks). The 20-day processing period starts when your application is received by the Game Licensing Unit. The time frame does not include the time taken for your application to be delivered. If you are missing documents or other information that is required to process your application, they will return it to you via normal postal delivery.

Once they have processed and approved your licence, they will send you an interim licence via email that you can print out while you wait for your license to arrive in the mail. Note the interim licence is satisfactory to hunt with until you receive your plastic licence card in the mail. The interim licence is only valid for 30 days; if you don’t receive your licence card before the interim expires, contact GLU customer service. Your security PIN will also be available so you can access online licence holder services immediately.

#6 Hunting in NSW state forest

Once you have received your interim R-Licence via email or your plastic licence in the mail you are now ready to plan and book your hunt in NSW state forest. Bookings must be made first, you cannot simply walk into a NSW state forest and start hunting.

All hunts are booked and managed via the NSW DPI hunting app or via the DPI hunting website.

You can learn more about the this service here via this link or below.

Hunt NSW app

You can download the NSW Hunting App by searching for ‘Hunt NSW’ on the Apple App Store or Google Play.

  1. Login using your licence number and security PIN
  2. Select ‘DPI Hunting Portal’ from the app home screen
  3. Select ‘Book a public land hunt’
  4. Follow the steps to book your hunt
  5. Select ‘Close portal’ to return to the app home screen.

Written permissions booked using the Hunt NSW app are automatically stored within the app. Select ‘View’ to open your permission or ‘Hunt map’ to view the hunting maps for the State forest you have booked (Hunt map can only be used once a written permission has started).

If you can’t immediately see your permissions after completing a new booking, refresh the ‘written permission’ section:

  • Scroll down to the ‘Resources’ section on your home screen
  • Select the fourth option ‘User account’
  • Select ‘Permissions’.

Read the Hunt NSW app user guide for detailed instructions and screenshots.

Online licence holder services

Follow these steps if you use a browser to access Online licence holder services:

  1. Visit the DPI hunting portal website here
  2. Login here using your licence number and security PIN
  3. Select ‘Book a public land hunt’
  4. Follow the steps to book your hunt
  5. Download the DPI hunting maps to a GPS-enabled device
  6. Complete the declaration
  7. Store your written permission digitally or print a copy.

#7 Get phone support

The DPI team are amazing and are happy to answer any questions you have over the phone.

Your Hunter Ed course comes with a dedicated customer service team made up of real people, not robots. They are there to provide assistance to you through all channels—phone, email, and chat.

You can contact the DPI Hunter Ed support team using the information below.

9:00am to Midnight EST, seven days a week. (11:00pm to 2:00pm AEST)

1-800-830-2268 (toll free, international charges may apply

If you landed here by mistake and you are actually wanting to get your firearm license in a different state check out the links below.