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Old 08-12-2011, 10:42 PM
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Deer WA

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Is it true there are Deer in the hills of Perth. I find this hard to believe. Down south i could understand but Perth......??????
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Old 11-01-2012, 11:05 PM
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I believe that Indian Black Buck were introduced by the Acclimatisation Society back in the 1800's but were shot out by the 1950's?? Try the ADA for a reference. I reckon that they'd be Fallow released from a farm???
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Old 11-03-2012, 04:41 PM
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There are deer on the Darling scarp and there is no reason why they would,t travel looking for feed.
There used to be a few feral goats on the Ready Mix quarry leases at Gosnells and the Pioneer Quarry at Byford used to support a good pig population.So there is every chance there is deer close to the suburbs.

The Acclimatision Society also introduced Kudu into the Murchison area but they died from eating poisonous plants.

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Old 12-04-2012, 11:07 PM
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Western Australia
Posts: 290
Yes there are.

Hi Bung,

Indeed there are many deer getting around in WA now, however to go into details on a web forum about species and locations is considered in many circles to be "poor form" by those who like to hunt deer in Western Australia.

Our "culture" in this respect, is much different to other nations, and even some other states of Australia where deer are "native animals" and classified as "game" to be hunted under various regulated seasons, licenses, and bag limits, etc.

The reason for the difference here is that various local state legislation & regulations, declare any deer outside of a licensed deer farm, to be "declared vermin" (to be shot on sight), under agriculture protection board regulations.

Indeed employees of the Agriculture Dept who work as Agriculture Protection Board 'officers', will actively seek to destroy, shoot, trap and poison, any such "declared vermin" (what the rest of the world would recognize as a game animal to be revered) lest they spread like rabbits and make agriculture (growing of crops and horticulture etc) non viable.

Some other states of Australia, and much of the rest of the world, recognize this as folly of the worst kind, but not here - its the facts we live and deal with day to day.

As a result - to post the details of the deer herds that exist outside of deer farms (i.e. in the wild), in response to your request would just allow someone with different values and mind set to the rest of us, to copy & paste it into an email, to be sent to the Agriculture Protection Board Officers - thus ensuring yet another potentially hunt-able deer herd gets trapped poisoned or shot to oblivion before it gets a chance to establish.

So with the exception of licensed deer farms - deer aren't protected in any way here in the West Of Oz.

Most posts will always give you clues, like the reference to the black buck (alive and doing well by the way) but refer to them as having died out from poisoning or being shot out years ago etc etc...

That's always "the official line" in anything published on the matter.

In short - if to all intents and purposes they don't exist, then no govt agency is required to do anything to get rid of them!

If there were non here - then, why would WA now have its own branch of the Eastern States based ADA (Australian Deer Association) with more than 50 paid up members?

The thing is everything to do with Wild Deer In WA - is a "secret squirrel society" whisper here or there in the right rear with a wink and a nod and a secret handshake and password.

It's taken a full generation of hard work and expense by a dedicated but small band to get these herds established. There whereabouts are closely kept secrets among a band of like minded brothers.

One of the biggest problems this band face - is our culling culture when it comes to hunting. We have evolved from the rabbit plague of the great depression era with a mentality to spotlight everything at night from the back of a farm ute (pickup truck) and to shoot them all until they are gone / eradicated.

We don't have any deer hunting tradition that values the animals as game.

Many of the small numbers deliberately released to establish viable herds, are sadly shot to bits before even one breeding season, usually the stag / buck, and the rest of the does / hinds run down by piggers with their dogs, before they even get the opportunity to bred once.

Very few shooters here IN West Oz can bring themselves to stay quiet and allow a herd to establish - often the mentality born of our rabbit culling history is to "shoot it quick before someone else does.

Without an established deer as game culture and stewardship of the resource mentality, by all shooting groups - the establishment of viable self sustaining hunt-able herds in Western Australia - combined with Govt Ag Dept determination to exterminate them, has always made establishment a very difficult process - not that some haven't been trying since white settlement as far back as 1898 with the royal acclimatization society's efforts!.

One of the limitations - is as alluded to already the existence of 2 families of naturally occurring plants that are completely toxic to non native stock including deer (and goats etc). There are the plants that are members of the gastrolobium family, and include heart leaf Poison down south and the York Road (box) poison closer to Perth around the hills areas that your question relates specifically too.

These two plants families produce a natural form of the poison 1080 (its poisons registration number when synthesized for feral animal control programs) and its active constituent sodium monofluoroacetate, for which there is no antidote.

Deer (and other European/northern hemisphere based ruminants) that graze these species tend to die quick and painful death.

There are only 2 natural grassland plains in Western Australia - suited to the introduction of deer, where these plants families do not occur.

1. The Mitchell Plateau in the Kimberly region
2. The Scott River Coastal Plane, (East of Augusta)

Anywhere else the deer can and do survive including Perth hills BUT they tend not to thrive and spread - they live on improved pastures of local farms and as a result come into contact with farmers and the old historic culling mentality - or they eat poison plants in our forests and succumb.

Lastly there's the problem with legal access to hunt these deer, where they do exist.

I recall at least 40 years ago, that there were vast areas of VCL (Vacant Crown Land) in the Western Australian Govt land estate whereupon it was legal to carry firearms! Some of my generation might recall - the days of hunting ducks on lakes on crown land for example with a duck license.

You could even get a gun license thru police with just a duck license from Foresrt dept - becaiuse it showed you had somewhere to legally us it.

Not the case now days.

There was a deliberate move among the WA State Govt land agency's (for whom I worked as both a forester and Wildlife officer at the time), to vest all VCL (Vacant Crown Land) after the High Court running in Australia in favor of indigenous peoples land rights (The Eddie Mabo case).

All VCL now is pretty much "vested for some land use purpose" now - because VCL is subject to legal land rights claims.

The downside of this, is that it is NOT legal to carry a firearm any longer on most of this now vested land. (i.e National Parks, State Forests, Flora Reserves, Fauna reserves etc and so on).

These are the very areas where the deer tha5t do exist sleep and water etc during the day before they go out into neighboring land owners improved pastures paddocks at night to feed!.

So the difficulty is - that its largely impossible to get a permit to carry a firearm in State forest (I used to issue the permits).

So there's the next problem for you to overcome - how do you get legal access to the land on which the deer live?

In short - its neigh on impossible.

So as a result - much of the secret squirrel society hunting of wild deer in Oz (if it doesn't occur with land owner permission on farms) occurs in state forests without landowner permission.

There are permits available but its a matter of dept policy not to issue them (to anyone but their own staff - again i held the corporate firearms license and issued the permits in a former life).

In truth the Forests people would prefer to see the deer gone, remembering they aren't protected they are declared vermin to be shot on site by Govt rules / laws, its just that its not legal to carry a firearm into the forest where they reside to shoot them.

As the local wildlife officer - I didn't waste my time looking for deer hunters with firearms in state forests - I had better things to do with my time, and to be truthful would deliberately look the other way if I knew someone was getting themselves a deer for the wall or freezer. However times have moved on and newer younger more zealous wildlife officers abound these days looking to get any conviction they can in order to justify their existence. So I cannot in all conscience suggest that you go break the law to bag a deer.

What MANY do, is be extremely discrete about your activities in the forest! Look like any other bush walker, no cammo gear, a checkered flannel shirt in dull greens and browns is just as effective, but doesn't signal "illegal gun carrier in state forest" No need to have Paul Hogans "That's a Knife" machete strapped to your leg, - no bandoleers of 500 x 30 ought 6 rounds strapped across the chest like a Mexican bandit.

Most guys just dress like the local farm boy, but choose your colors and pattern to work the same as camo gear. Many do their pre hunt reconnoitering unarmed.... work out where your watering and bedding and feeding areas are going to be for the upcoming rut. Its not illegal to drive you 4wd around the bush or walk around checking out places.

On the day of the hunt - many will just get dropped of at 3.30 am with rifle and simple day pack - and walk in - do the business with one clean shot kill - ad arrange a pickup via mobile phone after dark in a lonely deserted spot.

Those with high and mighty ideals like to call this behavior "poaching" as tho all the deer belong to the king like back in Robin Hoods days.

The facts are, that if you don't get caught, because no one sees or hears you, and you don't come to the attention of the local forester / wildlife officer by your behavior - you can have a long and and successful deer hunting career in WA, - but they key thing is be discrete!

If you want to strap the buck to the bonnet, and wear your cammo gear & 4 ft long knife, into the local shop while you fuel up, you better guess that the local shop keep is going to be on the blower to the local wildlife forester guy with all your details while your still fueling up.

Keep your firearms out of sight, look like a local farmer of fisher or something, take the deer home to hang it inside your shed to skin it out, and don't let everyone see what your doing.

It's a secret squirrel society here for a reason.

The laws are very unhelpfull in our case, and many of those charged with the responsibility for enforcing them, recognize that and tend to be happy to look the other way, just as long as we aren't getting written and verbal complaints from every man and his dog, about a bunch of red necks shooting the place up!.

Its ALL about discretion here in the West Of far as deer hunting goes.

If anyone asks - there are non.!

And you definitely don't post pics of the ones that died out, or where they are currently located OK?

Other considerations are that there are a group of individuals in Oz that are investing many $ into large hunt behind wire setups for exotic species.

These people have a fiscal axe to grind. They don't want the average Joe knowing he can get a certain species free ranging - when they are trying to sell that hunting behind wire experience. They also don't want the Ag protection board peeps poisoning or shooting herds that could be trapped to put into hunt behind wire operations.

So they tend NOT to like the idea that people will share this "secret squirrel club white mans business" via the internet and forums such as this.

That pretty much sums it up for West Oz.

According to my research there are:-

Indian Blackbuck Antelope.
Fallow Deer
Red Deer
Rusa Deer

Running wild in Western Australia and more than one herd of each.

Were all the details made public they would be lucky to persist even 1 year IMHO for all of the reasons listed above.

In the case of these little fellows, well one complicating issue for access is that - they are on land now owned jointly by the Oz fed Govt and US govt for a secret listening (spy) base in the mid west of Oz.

It's protected by Soldiers with rifles... no exactly the sort of place you want to get caught wandering around 'poaching' in camo gear with rifle!

These were introduced back in 1898 by the States Royal Acclimatization Society (fore runner of today's Perth Zoo), and released to a Mr McKenzie - Grant at Moonyanooka (East of Geraldton). During ww2 when US servicemen were stationed at Geraldton, & they were culled from the back of WW2 Willies jeeps with bren guns for pet meat.

This is where the oft quoted rumor of them all dieing out, arose from, but in latter years the Farm sold to the Clune Family (Bernie Clune last i recall) BUT as said since then some of its been sold to Fed Govt and US joint spy listening base.. so good luck getting legal access to hunt them there today.

That's probably the reason they are doing so well nowadays.

And that's how it is with most of the deer herds here in West Oz today - you have to do your home work, speak with the right people, maybe consider joining the local West Oz branch of the ADA, and do some work trying to locate the herds and garner legal permission to access the land if you can.

If you can't, then learn to be discrete!

Remember they are declared vermin to be shot on sight under APB regs - so worst you'll get is charged with carrying a firearm in state forest, but that can have ramifications - like losing your firearms license if Police then judge you not a fit and proper person to hold a firearms license.

Lots to consider hey!


Last edited by Anne Shoots; 12-04-2012 at 11:18 PM. Reason: correct an image tag & spelling
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Old 05-27-2013, 09:30 PM
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Awesome post

Hi Anne shoots,

First piece of information i have read about hunting in west Australia that is very usefull, thanks for this. I have been in west Australia for 4 years and have had zero luck to finding any kind of hunting, would you mind if i gave you a call sometime? You seem to have a good understanding.
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Old 06-13-2013, 07:29 AM
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Western Australia
Posts: 290
Sure thing

Sure thing - I'll send you a PM with my number.

Sorry it took me so long to get round to reading this.

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Old 07-15-2014, 05:01 PM
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well said mate nice write up , you are bang on the money , I know of 2 fallow deer shot last year by a friend of mine ,In a location no one would believe me if I revealed so yes they are out there .cheers for you detailed post mate good info , cheers jimmy
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Old 07-17-2014, 02:31 AM
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Western Australia
Posts: 290

Jimmy in my youth I was right into deer hunting and did copious research into the deer that had been released into WA back in the late 1800s by the royal acclimatization society.

Since then I farmed deer for another 20 years - and suffered the odd escapee (and a release as well)

Lots of deer farmers like myself had escapes/releases and I kept a bit of a mental note of those as well.

As a result.... well I got to know about most of WA's various herds.

I remember a Fallow escape episode, which could be the one you refer too.

It was down next to (north of) the Jandakot air port! I was shifting a mob of Fallow. They ran at a fence and flattened it, and about 20 odd got out into the paper bark swamp & farming country neighboring the air port.

Guys from all over Perth hunted them on and off... mostly guys with bows, coz being a closely settled urban area, letting off firearms attracts a bit of attention from authorities and the WAPOL helicopters and planes all take off and land at Jandakot!

I recall someone put a arrow thru a doe - that ran up across the 4 lane highway at a set of traffic lights with cars and trucks all stopped at the red lights, with arrow protruding and blood spurting everywhere..

One guy I know used to shoot them... his mate would drop him off just before dawn when no traffic around... and quietly drive off in a big square around Nicholson road etc & he would slide off into the paper barks and get into position as the sun came up - shoot a buck and drag it back to the roadside bushes - put a coke can out on the edge of the road as the signal to his mate to stop...

Toss the buck and rifle into the trunk, dive into the seat and head off before the next cars came along, then head home ot skin and eviscerate it at home inside the garage... deer hunting (poaching) in the suburbs of Perth no less!

There's other fallow herds around tho....

Just south of Pinjarra on the base of the escarpment.

Another near Collie at Mornington Mills,

Yet another down Pneumonia road on the Donnelly river etc.

No shortage of fallow around WA.. and some reds as well...

There was a reds escape (bout 30) from Pete Chillwells deer farm on the road to Balingup that runs off the Nannup - Balingup road. Its a Tassie blue gum plantation these days, but that's where the red deer originated from.

There's a few up around Geraldton also I am told.

I am led to believe there's even a WA branch of the Australian ADA (Australian Deer Association) up and going ion WA now!.

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Old 09-10-2014, 11:04 PM
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Its nice to see someone willing to share some info in regards to deer in WA, thanks Anne Shoots.
When I was younger I did some hunting in WA but I havent done any hunting in many years now. I just returned from a trip to a relo's farm in NSW and saw some deer running around, its given me the hunting itch again!
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Old 09-23-2014, 08:46 PM
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Western Australia
Posts: 290
Your welcome..

You are welcome... PH.

I am too old and fat to be chasing them much these days.

When younger I would take the gun and dog for a 'discrete' walk around the forests.

Being a deer farmer also a lot of the other deer farmers would spill the beans when they had escapes.

There was red deer escaped as stated on Hay road out of Balingup between Balingup and the Nannup to Balingup main road in the forests there. It was Pete Chilwells deer farm at the time - he was away shearing and a huge downpour created a wash-a-way under one of his fences about 8 feet deep & about 30 odd NZ red wapiti cross deer escaped.

A few were enticed back with lupin feed - but most shot thru to establish in the local pine forests.

I also spotted a red stag in full antler one rut - standing in full view on the boat landing road west of Pemberton. He just walked off the road as i approached in the 4wd and watched us drive past... standing in the forest.

Fallow down Pneumonia road to the east of Lake Jasper.

A few reds got out of Tiger Toms place on the East Nannup road as well.

Morrisons Place Lake Kitenui deer stud west of Marg river also lost a few reds at some point.

Then there was old Curly Aitken's mob of fallow that got out from his old deer farm at Rocky Gully.

There's wild deer all over WA if you look... in the farming downturn a LOT of hunters bought live deer cheap to release into the bush to hunt.

Biggest problem is those who won't let them breed up - they have to shoot them as soon as they are released.

Human nature is the problem in this state.. we just don't have much of a hunting culture...shooting here is very much a "pest eradication" mentality.

i.e. get the pig dogs and spotlight and guns and 4wd pickup & get out there and eradicate them before they get established... and become a problem.

Sad but that's what we have to work with...
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Old 03-03-2015, 05:58 PM
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This is an old thread, but bumping into it makes me glad I live and hunt in NZ, and turned down opportunities to live and work in WA. Some aussies that come over here to hunt Tahr bring the stupid search and destroy mentality with them, clearly a carryover from home. Watched three of them a while ago try to shoot all of a small mob, no trophy animals and more than you could possibly eat, was like a gunfight at the OK corral!. Pointless and small minded.
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Old 03-04-2015, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Kiwiboy View Post
This is an old thread, but bumping into it makes me glad I live and hunt in NZ, and turned down opportunities to live and work in WA. Some aussies that come over here to hunt Tahr bring the stupid search and destroy mentality with them, clearly a carryover from home. Watched three of them a while ago try to shoot all of a small mob, no trophy animals and more than you could possibly eat, was like a gunfight at the OK corral!. Pointless and small minded.
Kiwi boy

WA hasn't the hunting freedom as the rest of us in Oz, even so there are hunters and shooters, this I have witnessed over the years and I can understand your disgust with wasting a valued animal that is taken without thought! No excuses.

Many years ago I was in NZ hunting Sika, and witnessed some small stags taken along with others totalling 9 deer.
Surprised when I visited their camp to find two of the shooters were in fact NZDSA one Christchurch president and one a senior National member!

They didn't do well where the three of us took 5 heads 7 and 8 points all representable for the wall.
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Old 04-29-2015, 11:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Kiwiboy View Post
This is an old thread, but bumping into it makes me glad I live and hunt in NZ, and turned down opportunities to live and work in WA. Some aussies that come over here to hunt Tahr bring the stupid search and destroy mentality with them, clearly a carryover from home. Watched three of them a while ago try to shoot all of a small mob, no trophy animals and more than you could possibly eat, was like a gunfight at the OK corral!. Pointless and small minded.
I think this would be the exception rather than the rule. I have never hunted with people like that except when it comes to pigs. Farmers want them gone.
I am a Kiwi living in NSW where I hunt the plentiful deer in our state. Unlike NZ we don't have the ability to hunt as much public land as they do in NZ but we are continually campaigning for improved access and it is happening in a small but consistent way. I think we will gain access to NPs eventually as the deer are becoming almost plague proportions in some areas where I frequent. in the mean time NPs are a sanctuary for ferals and game increasing prospects on the verge of these areas.
A recent trip I sat on a fence line on private property skirting a NP with my bow and counted 127 fallow does and 6 red does going through the fence to graze on the clover for the evening. All out of range unfortunately lol...
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Old 03-19-2016, 11:50 PM
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So apparently anne shoots got banned on this forum. Sad that a man of such calibre so rich in knowledge got banned on a forum like this. Im am new in australia. I used to hunt rusa marianna with my dad back in the nineties before they got decimated on its own native grounds. "Poor management and poverty" military style rifles doe pee while we crept within the dense tropical forests looking for movent in the dark. Those nights are long gone now and forgotten but the wolf in me has not left. I live in perth and cant get rifle just yet. I do have a compound bow and live south of the river. In hope of getting an experience here in wa. Im just trying my luck If theres Any, any one outhere interested in taking me in for a Go would be truly appreciated. I do not know much around here. Only liveinh here for 4 years and its work home work home every day. The bustle and hustle of modern life has got me on its grasp and looking for an ecape. Thank you for this forum i may have found a chance.
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Old 03-20-2016, 06:07 AM
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I'm reading this thread with much interest!! With careful management (mostly by you fellow hunters) those few will (and have) turn into a great plenty. Hopefully not like your rabbit population

Keep your powder dry and when you go afield take the kids and please..........wear your seat belts.
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Old 07-30-2016, 07:36 AM
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Just seen 2 fallow deer run west off Hilla waters Rd Waroona, about 1km north of nana rd. State forest. So there are wild deer all along the scarp. 2 years ago nearly hit a big red deer on Napier Rd Pinjarra. Nannup has some fallow around Marinup ford.

Last edited by dingobb; 07-30-2016 at 07:40 AM.
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Old 07-30-2016, 09:13 AM
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Just had a cruise round that area on Google Earth and inland from there and looking at the areas of forestry you have I can't believe your not up to your ears in deer. What's keeping them down, wild dogs, hunters ?
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