Hunters Must Respect The Rules
Game Animal Council General Manager Tim Gale says it is really important that hunters respect the rules around hunting in plantation forests.
“While hunters play an important role in managing game animal numbers in many plantation forests, hunting on any private property is a privilege not a right,” says Tim Gale. “There may be very legitimate workplace health and safety reasons why permission is not given to hunt at certain times and hunters need to respect that.”
“If permission is granted then hunters must strictly follow the rules as set out by the forest owner, leave alone any equipment located in and around the forest and make sure they take all the necessary safety precautions, especially making sure they positively identify their target,” Tim Gale says.
Forest Owners Association President Phil Taylor says plantation forest workers are particularly vulnerable to trespassing hunters as forest work resumes next week after being locked down under Alert Level 4.
"We've had reports of harvesting gear and machinery stolen and equipment sabotaged as it was left unattended during the lockdown. Some people have taken a vacant forest as an invite to trespass. Now, as we go back into the forests to prepare for start-up and maintain physical separation under our COVID-19 safety rules, we don't want to be exposed to the danger of being accidentally shot at as well."
Phil Taylor emphasises that plantation forests are private property and anyone who enters them needs to seek permission.
"We work hard at keeping our forest workforce safe. We don't want to add to the risk, just because somebody thinks it's now ok to go and bag a few animals behind our backs."
“Many forest owners, as has DoC, have chosen to keep their forests closed and I ask hunters to respect this.”
“Forest security monitoring has been stepped up and forest owners will take any unapproved access seriously and utilise the weight of the law to enforce this where it’s appropriate.”