TWO men from Eppalock and Mansfield pleaded guilty at the Myrtleford Magistrates’ Court for the illegal carriage of firearms and spotlighting equipment at night in recognised deer habitat near Myrtleford.
The hunters were intercepted on June 16 at a roadblock operated by Victoria Police, Game Management Authority (GMA) and Parks Victoria officers on Buffalo River Road at Dandongadale.
This locality was inside recognised deer habitat and is subject of numerous complaints relating to illegal shooting at night.
The hunters were stopped and their vehicle searched, finding several powerful torches, a centre-fire rifle and ammunition.
Both men received a three-month good behaviour bond and were ordered to pay $750 to the Mansfield District Hospital.
Possession of unsecured spotlights and firearms in recognised deer habitat between 30 minutes after sunset and 30 minutes before sunrise is an offence under the Wildlife Regulations 2012.
GMA chief executive Greg Hyams said GMA, Victoria Police and Park Victoria officers will continue to conduct operations targeting illegal spotlighting from public roads and on public land.
“Illegal hunting can put people and wildlife at risk, plus it damages the reputation of law-abiding hunters,” Mr Hyams said.
“Hunters are generally a law-abiding group but some choose to do the wrong thing and in doing so can be prosecuted, have their equipment confiscated and lose their game and firearms licences.”
For more information on game hunting in Victoria and to comply with game hunting laws visit www.gma.vic.gov.au.