Illegal hunters in the crosshairs of police

Hunters will be firmly in the sights of police this long weekend, with extra resources to target illegal hunting across a significant portion of the central west.

Operation Ranger 1 commenced at 2pm on Thursday, with 30 officers set to spend the next few days manning countryside stretching from Lithgow in the east to Moree in the west.

People using Illegal or unregistered firearms, unlicensed hunters, and those hunting in National Parks and on private property without permission are among those being warned to expect a visit during the operation.

Orana Local Area Command acting crime manager Inspector Jason Pietruszka said the genesis of the operation was a significant number of past complaints relating to illegal hunting.

“We’ve been wanting to do it for a while, and with the weather warming and people off on camping and hunting trips, this weekend is the best time,” he said.

“There are often complaints of hunters being on someone’s land shooting without permission, so we’ve pulled some resources together to make this happen.

“We are mindful there are some hunting competitions on over the weekend, and that is fine, but the message to hunters and campers is if you are doing the right thing you have nothing to worry about.

“If you’re not doing the right thing, then there’s a massive chance we’ll come across you, and the penalties can range from fines through to court appearances.”

As well as firearm and hunting offences, Inspector Pietruszka said police would also be monitoring the situation when it comes to fires, as the official bushfire period commences.

"We want people to enjoy their long weekend without putting others at risk,” he said.