Game Management Authority officers together with Victoria Police and DELWP officers have seized a number of firearms, spotlights and ammunition and five people will be charged as part of an operation targeting illegal deer spotlighters around the Mansfield area.
GMA chief executive officer Greg Hyams said the teams targeted state forests, national parks and private properties in the Strathbogie Ranges and at Jamieson, Woods Point, Tatong, Tolmie, Eildon, Whitfield and the Delatite Arm of Lake Eildon, with five Tolmie hunters set to be charged.
‘‘Five hunters in the Tolmie area were allegedly found illegally in possession of spotlights and firearms and will be charged with being illegally in possession of a spotlight and firearms in deer habitat,’’ Mr Hyams said.
‘‘A further three hunters received official warnings for being illegally in possession of a firearm and spotlight in deer habitat.
‘‘Another hunter will be charged for allegedly having unsecured ammunition and a camper also received an infringement notice for having a campfire larger than one metre.’’
Mr Hyams said the GMA, Victoria Police and DELWP officers would continue to work together to target illegal hunting in Victoria.
‘‘Illegal hunting and irresponsible behaviour can put people and wildlife at risk and damages the reputation of hunting,’’ he said.
‘‘Hunters need to make sure that they are familiar with the laws and are not illegally in possession of spotlights and firearms in deer habitat.
‘‘Hunters are generally a law-abiding group but there are some who choose to do the wrong thing.
‘‘Those who choose to break the law can be fined or prosecuted, have their equipment confiscated and lose their game and firearms licences.’’
■Hunters and members of the public can report suspected illegal hunting to CrimeStoppers on 1800 333 000, the GMA customer service centre on 136 186 or via the online reporting form on the GMA website at www.gma.vic.gov.au