TWO New South Wales men have been fined a total of $5000 after pleading guilty to killing four hog deer out of season and in a wildlife reserve where hunting is prohibited.
The Sale Magistrates Court last week heard the men were intercepted by officers from Game Victoria and Victoria Police after they landed a boat at Port Albert in July last year.
The men were returning from Snake Island, which is a State Wildlife Reserve.
The court heard the men had camped on the island for four days during which they shot the deer and took the heads for trophies.
One of the men was not licensed to use a firearm.
A third man ferried the pair to and from the island at the beginning and end of their trip.
The boat, boat trailer, all the guns and camping equipment were seized at the time.
One of the men, from Coffs Harbour, was convicted and fined $3000 and lost his game licence, while the other, from nearby Boambee, was fined $2000.
The Director of Game Victoria, Simon Toop, said hog deer were first introduced into Victoria from Sri Lanka and India in 1865.
“Today, hog deer are distributed in isolated groups along the south-eastern coast of Victoria from the Tarwin River area to the Gippsland Lakes region,” Mr Toop said.
“Hog deer hunting is strictly controlled in Victoria.
“Hog deer can only be hunted during the one month open season and only one male and one female can be harvested per season.
“If left unchecked, illegal hunting could threaten the hog deer population and is dangerous and unfair to law-abiding hunters.”