By Sarah Marquet
Two people face poaching charges after they allegedly shot and gutted a deer on a Central Otago farm this week. Acting Detective Senior Sergeant Liz Williams said police were alerted by a farmer tracking poachers across his farm at 4.50pm on Monday. While he was following them, he heard a gunshot. He then saw the two poachers gut and carry away the deer.
Police waiting at the poachers' vehicle arrested a 21-year-old local man and charged him with theft. Further charges were likely. The second person allegedly involved was a 16-year old female.
''What is especially gratifying about this arrest is the fact the farmer contacted police while the incident was happening, which enabled police staff to attend and catch the offender quite literally red-handed,'' Det Snr Sgt Williams said.
She said although it was a deer farm, the animal shot was wild and therefore technically the property of the Crown, but the two were still unlawfully on the farmer's property.
Det Snr Sgt Williams said people convicted of poaching could face seizure of vehicles, firearms, firearms licences and any other items relating to the activity of unlawful hunting.
The two poachers will be banned from entering the 96 farms in the wider Central Otago district involved in the anti-poaching scheme.