The spotlighting of deer is a significant enforcement issue for government agencies, such as the Game Management Authority and Victoria Police. It is illegal, dangerous, unethical and reduces recreational hunting opportunities for law-abiding hunters.
Police and Game Management Authority (GME) are cracking down on illegal spotlighting throughout the Victorian High Country. Last week a three-day operation caught seven poachers in the Mansfield and Jamieson area.
People are not to be in possession of a firearm and spotlight between 30 minutes after sunset until 30 minutes before sunrise in recognised deer habitat.
Farm Weeklyreported police seized six guns, seven spotlights and ammunition during the operation. Mansfield and Jamieson police, with staff from the Game Management Authority and the Environment, Land, Water and Planning Department, led overnight patrols in a number of illegal spotlighting hotspots between November 11-13.
Police allege the seven people were committing numerous firearms offences including:
- prohibited person possess firearm,
- possess loaded firearm in public place,
- fail to store Category A or B longarm correctly,
- store firearm or ammunition in an insecure manner,
- possession of spotlight and firearm in recognised deer habitat.
A number of other charges are likely to be laid in relation to offences against various wildlife game regulations.
“Six of the seven alleged offenders have had their firearms licences suspended while the seventh person was allegedly unlicenced”.
“Those to be charged on summons include – 48-year-old man from Noble Park, three men aged 27, 33 and 55 from Mooroolbark, a 54-year-old man from Guildford (NSW), a 68-year-old man from Hadfield and a 51-year-old man from Dallas”.
Mansfield acting Sen. Sgt Geoff Hutchison said the police and partner agencies braved “horrible weather conditions” to detect the alleged spotlighters.
“Illegal spotlighting is not only against the law, it is dangerous, unethical and reduces recreational
hunting opportunities for law-abiding hunters.
“We will continue to collaborate with our partner agencies, share intelligence, and act on reports from the local community to crack down on illegal hunting practices, and protect the community,” Sgt Hutchison said.