McCurdy re­counts Har­ri­etville deer shooting in par­lia­ment

Alpine Observer - - News -

A DIS­TURB­ING tale of a deer that was shot, butchered and left head­less by a hunter in a Har­ri­etville town res­i­dent’s yard has been re­counted in Vic­to­ria’s Par­lia­ment by Tim McCurdy (MLA, Ovens Val­ley).

The wor­ry­ing in­ci­dent has also sparked con­cerns on Har­ri­etville com­mu­nity fo­rum’s web­site, prompted Alpine mayor Ron Janas to speak with po­lice and led Cathy McGowan (MHR, Indi) to en­cour­age peo­ple to con­tact Vic­to­rian Po­lice Min­is­ter Lisa Neville.

One com­mu­nity source con­firmed that shots were heard at about 1:45am on Au­gust 27.

An­other res­i­dent, Fiona Ham­mond, wrote on the com­mu­nity fo­rum site that the in­ci­dent oc­curred next to Har­ri­etville Pri­mary School.

“(The shooter) took the head for a tro­phy and left the body in the yard where they shot it,” she said.

“The res­i­dent woke that morn­ing with his grand­chil­dren in tow to be greeted by this hor­ren­dous sight in the front yard.

“The po­lice say they can do noth­ing, yet they did not even ap­proach the Har­ri­etville ho­tel mo­tel to view CCTV footage, which would have cap­tured the ve­hi­cle driv­ing about.”

But Alpine mayor Ron Janas has con­firmed that he dis­cussed the in­ci­dent with Bright po­lice Sen- ior Sergeant Doug In­coll and had also taken a call from Wan­garatta lo­cal area com­man­der In­spec­tor Kerry Hicks.

Mr McCurdy told par­lia­ment he had been con­tacted by a res­i­dent with con­cerns about the num­ber of sam­bar deer en­ter­ing the town and peo­ple’s prop­er­ties.

“…But more re­cently (the res­i­dent) has de­vel­oped a greater con­cern with the deer hun­ters,” he said.

“They use high- pow­ered weapons in close prox­im­ity to Har­ri­etville, around homes.

“The res­i­dent cited a re­cent ex­am­ple of a sam­bar deer that was shot next to Har­ri­etville Pri­mary School, which is right in the cen­tre of town, dur­ing the mid­dle of the night.”

He said the head was taken as a tro­phy.

Mr McCurdy also said four sam­bar deer had been shot at Smoko.

“Again the heads were re­moved as tro­phies and the bod­ies left to rot,” he said.

Mr McCurdy said lo­cal peo­ple un­der­stood that re­cre­ational hunt­ing was a method of re­duc­ing the sam­bar deer pop­u­la­tion but il­le­gal hun­ters were break­ing the rules and mak­ing them feel un­safe.

He said there were two im­por­tant rec­om­men­da­tions from the Vic­to­rian par­lia­ment’s re­cent feral an­i­mal in­quiry that he would pur­sue on be­half of res­i­dents af­fected by il­le­gal deer hunt­ing.

He said Vic­to­ria Po­lice and the Game Man­age­ment Author­ity should work col­lab­o­ra­tively to bet­ter mon­i­tor and ed­u­cate the com­mu­nity on re­port­ing mech­a­nisms for il­le­gal hunt­ing ac­tiv­ity.

The gov­ern­ment should also en­sure that all co­or­di­nated re­cre­ational hunt­ing pro­grams were ap­pro­pri­ately su­per­vised, in­volve wide con­sul­ta­tion, are well ad­ver­tised, are rig­or­ously eval­u­ated and are trans­par­ent to en­sure the con­cerns and needs of com­mu­ni­ties are ad­dressed.

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