Police are fed up with the behaviour of illegal deer hunters in the North East over the past few years and have warned they will not put up with any intimidation.
Those in the region with guns in previous seasons have gone as far as firing shots into homes.
Wangaratta police Inspector Kerrie Hicks says that type of behaviour will not be tolerated.
“Over the years we’ve seen hunters shooting from roads and across private land, cutting fences letting out stock and threatening locals,” she said.
“This simply isn’t acceptable and police will be working with partners to crackdown on this behaviour this hunting season.”
We’ve seen hunters shooting from roads ... and threatening locals.Inspector Kerrie Hicks
Police acknowledged it was the disrespectful minority which ruined the reputation of hunters.
“We want to work with the community and the large majority of law abiding hunters to tackle this issue,” Inspector Hicks said.
“Unfortunately we’ve found a lot of incidents go unreported.
“Often people tell us that’s because they know there won’t be enough evidence or the hunters are no longer present.
“For police, information is key. Sometimes little pieces of information that seem insignificant can actually help us piece together a crime.”
The Game Management Authority has also committed to work with police to arrest people illegal deer spotlighting and in possession of weapons.
Police have encouraged anyone with information about hunters acting illegally to contact Crime Stoppers on 1300 333 000 or www.crimestoppersvic.com.au, or call triple zero if they find themselves in danger.