More cases of illegal hunting in New Zealand have farmers and law enforcement officials concerned.
Police Constable of Hawke’s Bay, John Bruce told reporters if the conflicts continue as they have been recently, “It’s not a case of if – it’s a case of when” someone will get shot.
Illegal hunting in New Zealand has greatly affected Waitara Station farmer Lloyd Holloway, who has seen these conflicts firsthand since he regularly lets hunters on his property. He told reporters of a few incidents where hunters, some of who entered his land without permission, were shooting at the same animal creating confusion to both himself and the other hunters.
He added, “It’s becoming quite regular and some day someone is going to get shot – people around here are getting sick of it.”
Holloway has been farming at the same location for 17 years, but in the past several months he’s seen a spike in illegal hunting in New Zealand.
He told reporters, “As long as people ring and ask me if they can go hunting I don’t mind – but this is b*******.”
Farmers in the Hawke’s Bay area have installed cameras to capture the illegal hunting or hunters on film. Bruce said this has helped catch some poachers and trespassers.
He added, “We’ve knocked a bit of a hole in it but it’s still happening a lot.”
Violators often remove license plates when hunting and hunt illegally at night, making it hard to track them down in the more rural areas.
Holloway told reporters about the “do not confront” policies put in place for staff, and that he had been confronted by illegal hunters about seven years ago. He feels the justice system has to get tougher in order to end this illegal hunting trend.
Holloway spoke of how those caught hunting illegally should be dealt with; “Take their firearms licenses off them – and hit them hard in the pocket.”