Drone catches rule-breakers at the end of duck season

June 26, 2021 BY

The heat sensing drone at Lake Connewarre surveyed the wetland and guided officers towards any potential illegal hunting activity.

A DRONE sent aloft by the Game Management Authority (GMA) over the long weekend at Lake Conneware caught three people breaking the rules in the last days of this year’s duck season.

GMA director of compliance and intelligence Paul Stevens said the authority’s officers used the heat sensing drone to survey the wetland at Lake Connewarre, north of Connewarre and south of Leopold, and guide them towards any potential illegal hunting activity or breaches of the public safety laws.

“While no hunting offences were detected, the drone observed a number of people breaching public safety laws, including entering specified hunting areas during prohibited times and hindering/harassing hunters related offences.”

“Two people were issued with infringement notices and one has received a banning notice.”

Mr Stevens said public safety laws were in place to protect the broader community, hunters, the GMA’s officers and others on the wetlands.

During the 2021 duck hunting season, which ended 30 minutes after sunset on Monday last week, three hunters received infringement notices for hunting with an expired game licence and one hunter received an infringement for hunting without a valid game licence.

Four other people received infringements for being in a state game reserve without a valid game licence, and three people received a banning notice for offences related to hindering or harassing hunters.

The GMA says some other matters are under investigation.

Officers were active across the state and spoke to more than 650 hunters at different wetlands.

All hunters present at wetlands patrolled by officers complied with the starting times and bag limits.

The GMA thanked everyone who acted responsibly and lawfully during the 2021 duck hunting season.

Hunters and the public are urged to report illegal hunting and public safety offences to the GMA online at gma.vic.gov.au, by phoning the Customer Contact Centre on 136 186, or by contacting Victoria Police.

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