An artist from Ballarat has described a "scary, scary" night camping on Lake Burrumbeet as duck hunters shot a wallaby just metres from his tent.
Robert Convery, 64, who was camping with his pet chihuahua, said that shooting went all night on the eve of the opening day of duck season earlier this month.
The problem began reportedly started as night began to fall, and he got ready to go to sleep on the campsite on the southern shore of the lake.
"They started right on dark, they were spotlighting and shooting, there were lots of shotguns going off and heavy rifles and then they started coming along the road just behind me," he told The Courier.
Mr Convery said the shooters were only about 20m away from his tent and they were trying to whistle up foxes.
"At one stage I yelled out 'There are campers just here' you know, cos they are just behind the trees of my tent.
I couldn't let me little dog out for a wee. I wasn't even game enough to go outside. I thought 'you know, you're going get pegged'.Robert Convery
"My tent just kept lighting up from spotlights. I am just thinking I hope they're not shooting this way through the trees.
"And then by the time I had gone to bed, next thing a shotgun goes off just behind us and I just jumped."
Mr Convery, who said there were other campers around, including children, said he was so terrified he was not able to leave the tent, and nor was his pet.
"I couldn't let me little dog out for a wee. I wasn't even game enough to go outside. I thought 'you know, you're going get pegged'."
When he woke up the next morning he said there was a dead wallaby that had been shot in the head lying just a few metres away from the entrance to the tent.
Mr Convery said he called the police twice to let them know about the problem.
"They said they'd try and get someone out," he said. "The next time I rang it went through to Melbourne, they put me through to 000 and they said they'd get someone out.
"But the shooting just went all night. I don't know if the police had come out or not."
Bill Hammond, who belongs to the Friends of Burrumbeet Lake said:
"I've known Rob for about 40 years. I'd feel for anybody put it in that situation. You just don't know whether you are going to wear a stray bullet.
These people when they get together with their mates and get a few beers into them, and they've got firearms - they're bloody dangerous.Bill Hammond, Friends of Burrumbeet Lake
"These people when they get together with their mates and get a few beers into them, and they've got firearms - they're bloody dangerous."
He said the group would be discussing the matter with DELWP at a meeting next month.
There has been a long history of tension between local residents and duck shooters in recent years. Last year, one resident said she dreaded the duck shooting season said locals reported hunters shooting from boats towards the shore.
Many locals have said they would rather the sport be banned altogether.
Grant Allan, the DELWP manager for environmental compliance in the Grampians region, confirmed they were looking into the matter.
"DELWP is investigating a shooting incident at Lake Burrumbeet last Friday night following a report of a wallaby being shot near a campsite," he confirmed to The Courier in an emailed statement.
"Wildlife is protected under the Wildlife Act 1975. Penalties apply for killing protected wildlife - people can be fined up to $8,060 and imprisoned for up to 6 months."
He confirmed that the reported shooting took place outside the opening of duck season, which started at 9am on Saturday March 16. He encouraged people to report illegal hunting to DELWP's Customer Contact Centre on 136 186 or call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Have you signed up to The Courier's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in Ballarat.