Deer spotlighters face charges

POLICE are reminding firearms owners of their responsibilities after two separate groups were detected spotlighting deer in the Briagolong area on Saturday night.

In one incident a 45-year-old Briagolong man and his 17-year-old son were located on Marathon Rd with a firearm and a spotlight.

The firearm and spotlights were seized and their firearms licences were suspended.

The duo will be summonsed to the Sale Magistrates Court at a date to be set.

Police will apply for the seized firearm to be forfeited and destroyed.

In a second incident a 61-year-old Briagolong man and a 65-year-old Tasmanian man were caught with a deer they had shot using a spotlight on private property.

Both men are facing charges in relation to this incident.

While the law changed in relation to shooting deer on private property on July 11, making it possible for a landowner, or someone acting on their behalf, to destroy deer that have been causing damage without a permit, strict conditions apply.

Maffra Police’s Sergeant Eamon Leahy said if deer are to be taken using a spotlight on private land, the shooter must be in possession of a written letter of permission from the land owner.

“People need to be aware that deer are still protected as a game species, and it is still an offence to spotlight deer on public land.

“We have been receiving growing reports of people using firearms from roads and shooting on private property without permission.”

He said police were targeting these offences and encouraged landowners experiencing problems with shooters to phone ‘000’ immediately.

For more information about the changes to the control of deer on private property visit the DEPI website at www.depi.vic.gov.au