The Department of Conservation will be turning a spotlight on anyone found hunting during the hours of darkness.
DOC say they will be putting a focus on enforcing hunting and permit laws during the hours of darkness.
Permits must be carried while hunting and have a number of conditions which must be adhered to.
Paul Thornton, Acting Manager Operations says that hunters must comply with two critical aspects. They must identify their target, and they must not hunt during the hours of darkness.
“Hunting is not allowed during the hours of darkness because the hunter cannot see what is beyond their target.
“Hunting using spotlights or other artificial lights, such as vehicle headlights, is illegal and dangerous. Even if the animal can be clearly seen, the hunter will not be able to see clearly past the range of the light. This puts other users of the area at risk.”
The use of night vision equipment, infra-red and heat detecting devices are also prohibited on conservation land during the hours of darkness.
Hunting without a permit or lack of compliance with permit conditions is an offence under the Conservation Act, and the penalty for an individual is up to one-year imprisonment, a fine of up to $100,000, or both.