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Byron Shire
May 16, 2021

Hunters drunk and drugged in state forests

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Previously secret records obtained from the Game Council show some the organisation’s licensed hunters were excessively drunk and drug affected while in possession of firearms on shooting trips into state forests and, in at least one case, inside a national park.

The documents have emerged during an inquiry into the Game Council, which was due to start issuing permits for shooting in national parks (including several in the northern rivers) this month.

High ranking officials within the organisation have also been implicated.

In one case an amateur hunter was pulled over by police while driving at night in a state forest with a passenger who had a semi automatic rifle fitted with a laser sight and a silencer.

Greens NSW MP and environment  spokeperson David Shoebridge said, ‘these documents reveal a culture of booze, drugs and reckless use of firearms which show just how dangerous a growing gun and hunting subculture is’.

‘Whether it is being blind drunk on a hunting trip, offering drugs to passers-by or pulling down warning signs before hunting in a busy forest, what is on display is a reckless hunting subculture that is increasingly out of control.

‘The Game Council’s own records show that in just one year there has been a litany of gross safety breaches by the organisation’s licensed amateur hunters.

‘Now that the extent of the danger from amateur hunting is known, the premier must move to protect the public and our native forests and reserves from these weekend warriors.’

Documents obtained from the Game Council reveal numerous breaches, including one in which hunters set up camp in a sate forest after pulling down warning signs not to hunt because there were loggers operating the forest

In another, an amateur hunter on an expired licence, and two male companions, were found at a hut inside South Eden National Park with a firearm and ammunition. The amateur hunter told rangers that he was told by his licence instructor that he could hunt in national parks.

A later investigation revealed witnesses who described seeing a number of heavily intoxicated young men loudly revving their vehicles’ engines, spinning the wheels and shouting at each other. One was so heavily intoxicated he ‘was seen to fall flat on his face without any attempt to protect himself’.

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  1. not only bushwalkers and others who wish to enjoy the National Parks without slaughtering living beings, are at risk with these drunken hoons running amok in them, but also the native animals. One would have thought that native fauna could have refuge in a National Park. Don’t these creeps kill enough everywhere else they’re allowed to kill and maim?

  2. Can you just imagine! You take your wife and kids and perhaps your grand children out for the day into our beautiful National Parks for a picnic or even an overnight stay in a camping ground. You then hear gunshots nearby, even the whistle of bullets passing near. You begin to shake with fear, you are isolated away in a National Park, you feel helpless. “Am I going to die? Is my family going to die” you ask yourself? Still fresh in your mind are the horrors of the Port Arthur Massacre, the Belanglo State Forest backpacker murders and the murders of innocent tourists in our beautiful Australian Outback all attributed to crazed gunmen.

    On a platter, we have provided a playground within our National Parks for gun holders to shoot amongst the gum trees where every day families will be enjoying their family day out and camping in our National Parks. We have also provided the perfect playground for those unstable gun holders who are happy to shoot their guns amongst innocent people visiting and enjoying the National Parks. Guns in National Parks is irresponsible and dangerous to human life. Another horror story waiting to happen in our beautiful Australia. From a very very deeply concerned retired Police Officer.


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