North Coast

The trapping program looks promising to provide a cost-effective option to manage wild deer populations in the Port Macquarie

New tool to tackle wild deer population in Port Macquarie

North Coast Local Land Services is finding success with using a new trapping technique to help manage the Wild Deer population in Port Macquarie.

To improve the effectiveness of wild deer management in the Port Macquarie area, Biosecurity staff are trialling a medium scale trapping program. The trial is based on similar successful programs in NSW and Qld and adapted to suit the Port Macquarie area.

The Port Macquarie trial has involved building a 40 m diameter enclosure set up in the area that deer are known to congregate. The trap is left open, allowing deer to free feed inside to make them feel comfortable in entering. A G3 camera monitors the trap and will triggers when activated by movement sending photos in real-time. 

Dean Chamberlin, Team Leader Invasive Pests with North Coast Local Land Services says, ‘The trap is open for several weeks when the night time condition is suitable, a remote trigger releases a spring-loaded gate shutting the deer within this enclosure.’

‘This trapping technique, along with using night scopes and suppressed firearms, has enabled more humane disposal of the animals. The size of the enclosure restricts the deer’s movements, and the dark, quiet conditions keep deer calm.’ Said Dean.

The first trapping event proved successful with a mob of eight wild deer captured and culled.

Trapping will continue until all deer in the immediate location of the trap are disposed of. Once all known deer are removed, surveillance will continue over several months to watch for any further incursions

‘As with all pests, control needs to be maintained to keep the numbers of animals and impacts low.’ Said Dean.

‘Initial indications are that the trapping program will provide a very cost-effective option to manage wild deer populations in the Port Macquarie area and reduce numbers considerably.’ Said Dean.

North Coast Local Land Services is looking to expand this trial program to other areas around Port Macquarie. If you are a landholder in the Port Macquarie area that is impacted by wild deer and you are interested in becoming part of the program, please contact Mick Elliott, Senior Biosecurity Officer at North Coast Local Land Services 1300 795 299


  • North Coast Local Land Services has funded the management of wild deer in the area by contracting a professional shooter over the past two years that has removed over 200 wild deer from the peri-urban areas around the city of Port Macquarie.
  • As a member of the Hastings Wild Deer working group NCLLS has been working closely with stakeholders in the Port Macquarie area since 2016 to increase knowledge and improve management of wild deer in the area.
  • Wild deer management in the urban and peri-urban space presents unique challenges, particularly with the use of firearms to cull wild deer.