Illegal deer spotlighters nabbed in high country sweep

Illegal deer spotlighters nabbed in high country sweep

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Police are cracking down on illegal spotlighting of deer in Victoria's high country.

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Guns and spotlights seized during a previous Victoria Police operation.

Guns and spotlights seized during a previous Victoria Police operation.

Police are cracking down on spotlighting of deer in Victoria's high country.

It is illegal to hunt deer at night on public land across Australia.

Seven people will be charged after a three-night police operation in the Mansfield and Jamieson areas last weekend.

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.

People are not allowed to be in possession of a firearm and spotlight between 30 minutes after sunset until 30 minutes before sunrise in recognised deer habitat

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.

The weekend's police operation was conducted during wild weather in the high country. Picture: Victoria Police.

The weekend's police operation was conducted during wild weather in the high country. Picture: Victoria Police.

Anyone with information about illegal spotlighting is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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.

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The story Illegal deer spotlighters nabbed in high country sweep first appeared on Farm Online.

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