New York Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – March 22, 2019

(Editor’s note: A criminal charge is merely an allegation that a defendant has committed a violation of the criminal law, and it is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the state of New York’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.)

Unsportsmanlike conduct at derbies
(Fulton County)

On Feb. 15, ECOs Jason Hilliard and Robert Higgins conducted a night patrol prior to the start of the Great Sacandaga Lake Fisheries Derby and the Walleye Challenge. The ECOs located tip-ups that had been left out overnight unoccupied, a violation of Environmental Conservation Law. The officers also found a 32-inch northern pike being kept alive and stored in the ice next to an unoccupied fishing shanty. Believing that the fish might be entered into one of the contests, Hilliard and ECO Keith Kelly returned to the shanty the next morning to interview the angler about leaving his tip-ups unattended. When asked about his luck fishing that day, the angler proudly stated that he caught a big northern pike earlier in the morning, entered it in the contest, and released it. After the ECOs informed the subject that they had been out the previous night, the angler admitted to the wrongdoings. Contest rules state that a contestant cannot fish before a designated time, meaning that the angler entered the fish in violation of contest rules. The subject was issued a ticket for leaving fishing lines unattended and the officers shared the ticket with the contest board, resulting in the disqualification of the pike from the tournament.

ECOs Shane Manns, Steve Shaw, Rob Higgins, Brian Toth, Paul Pasciak, and Mark Klein also patrolled the events on Feb. 16, along with the New York State Police and the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department. Patrols focused on public safety and compliance with fishing regulations for the thousands of people in attendance. Additional tickets were issued for unattended tip-ups, unregistered motor vehicles, and riding ATVs with no helmets. Patrols also assisted with an ATV and a snowmobile that went through the ice during the weekend.

Lighting up the night
(Monroe County)

In the early morning hours on Feb. 16, ECO Spencer Noyes observed a wide red spotlight scanning the fields and coming from a pickup truck slowly driving on a rural road in the town of Hamlin. Noyes had recently received complaints of spotlighting and people shooting from the road in the area. Noyes followed the truck and pulled it over after the driver failed to stop at a stop sign. Inside the truck the ECO found five unsecured rifles, three spotlights and multiple sets of shooting sticks. The driver admitted that he and his passenger were spotlighting to hunt coyotes from the truck. Noyes issued multiple tickets for possessing an unsecured firearm while spotlighting and hunting with the aid of a motor vehicle. The charges are returnable Hamlin Town Court.

Barn fire
(Seneca County)

On Feb. 15, ECO Tim Brown was on patrol in the town of Fayette when he responded to a structure fire at a nearby farm. Brown and Seneca County Sheriff’s Deputy Zach Nelson arrived at the scene within minutes of the call and began helping the son of the property owner evacuate livestock from an adjacent barn close to the fire. By the time the livestock had been evacuated, firefighters from several local departments began to arrive on scene. The firefighters coordinated efforts over several hours to battle the blaze, which destroyed one barn and several pieces of farm machinery but resulted in no injuries to first responders or livestock. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Kids ice fishing derby
(Schenectady County)

Feb. 16 marked the sixth year of the kids fishing derby on Mariaville Lake in Duanesburg, sponsored by Mariaville Lakeside Store and owner David Pirrone, the Wiggly Worm Bait Shop, Schenectady County Conservation Council, and New York Conservation Officers Association. More than 80 children and parents participated. The SCCC and the Wiggly Worm provided children with a free Polar tip-up, which they could use and keep. Lts. Liza Bobseine and Jason DeAngelis joined ECOs Chris Valenty, Brian Willson, Kurt Bush, Wes Leubner, Russell Fetterman, and Mark Vencak and members of the Schalmont High School Outdoor Club at the event. David Pirrone and the Wiggly Worm bait shop graciously provided plenty of pizza and refreshments, as well as bait for everyone in attendance. Approximately 150 fish were caught and cash and prizes were awarded for the largest pickerel, perch and bass.

Categories: Cuffs & Collars

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