Contact keeping unlawful hunting in check: police

Unlawful hunting in the Waitaki Valley has not been a major issue for police this year. PHOTO:...
Unlawful hunting in the Waitaki Valley has not been a major issue for police this year. PHOTO: ODT FILES.
Close communication between landowners means cases of unlawful hunting in the Waitaki Valley have been few and far between this year, police say.

While there have been a handful of incidents reported to police this year, it is not an issue police are forced to deal with on a regular basis.

Senior Constable Nayland Smith, of Omarama, said the most recent case, which happened about six weeks ago, involved a man caught hunting on private land near Otematata without permission at night.

His firearm was fitted with a thermal scope.

In April, two individuals were caught on consecutive days in separate incidents in the Lindis Pass area.

All three have appeared in the Oamaru District Court and have yet to be sentenced.

Snr Const Smith said landowners took the issue seriously, and communicated with each other quickly if suspicions were aroused.

"They've got a pretty good network really, through the whole Lindis Pass area, where they will check out suspicious vehicles and talk to each other.

"There hasn't been an increase in incidents as such. I think there's probably ... more farmers aware and they are talking to each other a lot more. That all helps."

Recreational hunting for deer and pigs was a popular pastime in the areas and hunters generally abided by regulations, he said.

Senior Constable Peter Scott, of Kurow, said he had not had any incidents reported recently.

But he often reminded people of their obligations related to hunting.

"It's really been a question of education up here with so many contractors and people new to the area with various projects going on."

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