Police stock squad investigate illegal deer hunting

GYMPIE Magistrates Court has been told of an extensive police stock squad investigation leading to charges against two men accused of illegal deer hunting on an Imbil grazing property.

A $1500 breeding stag, purchased from a Victorian stud some years ago, was shot, gutted and removed for food.

The case comes during a continuing operation by Gympie's Kingaroy-based stock squad.

Squad members have been investigating numerous separate complaints of illegal hunting and associated trespassing on private and crown land across the Wide Bay and Burnett region.

The Gympie court heard on Monday that police had withdrawn charges against one of the two men, following an investigation that ranged from Imbil to Deception Bay and Springwood.

The other man, concreter Allan James Robertson, pleaded guilty to four charges that he killed a male deer with intent to steal it for venison, illegally discharged a .308 calibre rifle across private land without permission, hunted wildlife without consent and dumped offal in neighbouring state forest, all on July 21.

The court was told the deer had been kept in a special 20ha deer paddock bounded by a 180cm-high fence.

Responding to claims the deer had been shot next door and had jumped into the paddock, police told the court this was unlikely given fatal or disabling wounds in the head and neck.

Defence submissions said Robertson was an honest hunter who had shot the deer without realising it was on the wrong property.

Robertson, 43, of Murrajong Rd, Springwood was fined $2500 and ordered to pay $1500 restitution for the stag, which the court heard had been purchased from a Victorian stud breeder about 16 years ago.