Illegal deer hunters are being targeted in a joint operation between Game Management Authority (GMA) officers, Victoria Police and Parks Victoria.
The trio plans to continue to combine efforts in conducting operations specifically targeting rogue deer hunters in the coming months.
GMA chief executive Greg Hyams said an operation targeted hunters travelling to Mount Buffalo and Buckland Valley on June 16, where about 25 cars were intercepted and inspected at a road block at the intersection of Rose River and Buffalo River roads.
‘‘Five hunters were found to be illegally in possession of a firearm and spotlight in recognised deer habitat after sunset. Three will receive official warnings and the other two had their equipment seized and will most likely receive a summons to appear in court,’’ Mr Hyams said.
‘‘One hunter’s dog will be reviewed against the breed standards and could face deregistration.’’
On June 17, there was a patrol of the Simmons Creek Track and Buckland Valley area, with about 35 hound hunters, 10 stalkers and four gold prospectors spoken to.
Mr Hyams said one hunter would receive an infringement notice for illegally being in possession of a dog in a national park, while another was being investigated for carrying a loaded firearm on a public road.
‘‘Illegal hunting and irresponsible behaviour can put people and wildlife at risk and damages the reputation of hunting,’’ he said.
‘‘The GMA, together with its partner agencies, will continue to conduct similar unannounced operations anywhere in the state, at any time, so hunters must be compliant or risk large fines, the loss of their game and firearms licences and forfeiture of their equipment.’’
The GMA strongly encourages hunters and the public to report any suspected illegal hunting activity to Crime Stoppers on 1800333000, the customer service centre on 136186 or via the GMA website at www.gma.vic.gov.au
For more information on game hunting in Victoria, visit www.gma.vic.gov.au