SSAA Victoria has applauded Game Management Authority (GMA) officers for undertaking a recent compliance operation. GMA, Victoria Police and Parks Victoria worked together to conduct deer hunting compliance checks on the Queen’s Birthday weekend.
David Laird, SSAA Victoria’s Hunting Development Manager, said it was encouraging to hear of the greater enforcement efforts. “People acting illegally, irresponsibly or unethically undermine all legitimate hunters and should not be tolerated,” he said. “Charging those acting illegally sends a strong message and ultimately supports the vast majority of hunters who do the right thing.”
GMA Chief Executive Officer Greg Hyams said the operations included a road block at the Timbertop walking trail on Howqua Track and roving patrols targeting the areas around King River Valley through to Bluff Hut and along Brocks Road to Sheepyard Flats.
“Over the two days 180 people were spoken to and over 50 vehicles were checked,” Mr Hyams said. “A hound hunter camp was inspected near Howqua Hills with 10 hunters interviewed. Three hounds were inspected and will be assessed against the breed standard.
“One vehicle was intercepted with two local men who were in possession of firearms and spotlights in deer habitat. They will both receive infringement notices. A second vehicle was intercepted with two local men, with a loaded firearm and spotlighting equipment in deer habitat. The firearms and spotlights were seized by police, their firearm licences have been suspended and the two men will receive summons to attend court in the near future.”
Mr Hyams said hunters were generally a law-abiding group but there were some who chose to do the wrong thing. “Game hunting generates jobs and contributes hundreds of millions of dollars to Victoria’s economy, particularly in rural and regional areas,” he said. “It is vital to the future of hunting that hunters act safely and responsibly at all times.”
SSAA Victoria encourages members to report any suspected illegal hunting activity to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or www.crimestoppersvic.com.au; or the GMA Customer Service Centre on 136 186 or www.gma.vic.gov.au