Blitz on illegal spotlighting in North-East Victoria
Five men have recently been before the Myrtleford Magistrates Court for two cases of illegal deer spotlighting following a combined crackdown from the Game Management Authority (GMA) and Victoria Police in August 2017.
In the first case, three men from Shepparton were charged for being in possession of two firearms, two high-powered torches and ammunition in recognised deer habitat near Tolmie on the August 10 last year.
Two of the men had their hunting gear seized on the night. They were each fined $1000 without conviction and had to pay court costs.
The other man was placed on diversion, consisting of a $250 payment to charity and provision of a written letter of apology. The matter will be struck out if he is of good behaviour for 12 months.
In the second case, one man from Myrtleford and one man from Tasmania were charged for being in possession of a firearm, four high-powered torches and ammunition in recognised deer habitat near Cheshunt on August 13 last year.
The man from Tasmania pleaded guilty and was fined $750. The other man was placed on a 12-month good behaviour bond without conviction and ordered to pay $750 to charity.
GMA Chief Executive Officer Greg Hyams said the GMA will continue to work with Victoria Police to ensure people doing the wrong thing face the consequences.
"GMA and Police will continue to target illegal hunting and dangerous and unsafe firearm use throughout Northeast Victoria and across the state," Mr Hyams said.
"Illegal hunting and irresponsible behaviour can put people and wildlife at risk and damages the reputation of hunting."
"It is the responsibility of hunters to ensure they know the laws and are not illegally in possession of spotlights and firearms in recognised deer habitat during prohibited times."
"We know that hunters are generally a law-abiding group, however there are also some who choose to do the wrong thing."
"Those who choose to do the wrong thing can be fined or prosecuted, have their equipment confiscated and lose their Game and Firearms Licenses."
Hunters and the public are urged to report any illegal hunting to the GMA through its website www.gma.vic.gov.au or the Customer Service Centre on 136 186 or by contacting Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, or Victoria Police.