A TASKFORCE is cracking down on illegal hunting in the state forest area surrounding Mount Cole.
Officers from the Games Management Authority, Victorian Police and Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning conducted patrols over two nights.
Games Management Authority chief executive Graeme Ford said two men were being investigated for illegal behaviour.
“Police discovered and seized a loaded firearm and ammunition after they were found unsecured in the back of one man’s vehicle,” he said.
“Anyone carrying a firearm in a vehicle must ensure it is unloaded and securely stored separately from securely stored ammunition or be prepared to face significant fines and penalties.
“Another man is also under investigation by police after he was found with four dogs in his vehicle in the state park and was in possession of unsecured ammunition and a prohibited knife suspected to be used to illegally hunt pigs.”
Seven people were inspected as a part of two separate groups during the operation. The two men being investigated were from different groups.
The operation was a result of numerous public tip-offs regarding suspicions of deer spotlighting in the area.
It is one of a number of hotspots across Victoria that have attracted enough interest for the authority to set up similar operations.
Mr Ford said the authority would continue to work with partner agencies to target illegal hunting and dangerous and unsafe firearm use.
"Illegal hunting and irresponsible behaviour can put people and wildlife at risk and damages the reputation of hunting. It is the responsibility of hunters to ensure they know the laws,” he said.
“Hunters are generally a law-abiding group but there are some who choose to do the wrong thing.
“Those who choose to break the law can be fined or prosecuted, have their equipment confiscated and lose their game and firearms licences.”