Waikato police hope the loss of two men's firearms licences will serve as a timely reminder to other shooters to use firearms responsibly.
District firearms officer Richard Plas said two 28-year-old men from Cambridge and Te Awamutu recently appeared in Hamilton District Court on firearms-related charges.
"The charges relate to an incident in November last year where the pair were caught spotlighting by a Department of Conservation ranger in the vicinity of a campsite in the Pureora Forest Park.
"Fortunately, the ranger happened to be camping on site and was quickly able to stop them before any shots were fired, preventing any tragedy from occurring."
Mr Plas said it was unfortunate that the pair ignored the lessons learned in light of an occurrence in the Kaimanawa Forest Park where a woman, who was staying in a Department of Conservation campsite, was shot by a hunting party spotlighting for deer.
"Both men were found guilty and had their firearms licences revoked. We hope that these revocations serve as a timely reminder to other shooters that the licensed ownership of firearms is a privilege, not a right and as such, there are some serious responsibilities shooters need to adhere to.
Mr Plas said it is illegal for hunters to hunt on Department of Conservation land during the hours of darkness, and campsites are well sign-posted so there is no excuse for this kind of activity.