New York Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – June 12, 2020
(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.)
Fresh Tracks Lead to Illegal Deer (Herkimer County)
Earlier this year, two hunters settled cases in the Town of German Flatts Court for the illegal taking of deer. On Dec. 8, 2019, ECO Katie Jakaub received complaints of deer hunters trespassing on posted property in the town of German Flatts. After locating the suspect’s parked pickup truck, ECO Jakaub followed two sets of footprints in the fresh snow. After about ¾ of a mile, she came upon two men dragging a freshly shot spike buck out of a ravine. One of the men admitted shooting the buck and both admitted to hunting the property for years despite knowing it was posted. ECO Jakaub instructed the suspects to finish dragging out the buck while she carried their firearms and met them back at the road. The shooter was charged with illegal taking of a white-tailed deer and both men were charged with trespassing in accordance with Environmental Conservation Law. The two hunters paid fines totaling $900.
What Not to Do in the North Woods (Kittery, Maine)
On May 7, ECO Jerry Kinney began investigating actions in a video provided to Lt. Nathan VerHague showing an individual sitting in the driver’s seat of a truck shooting a turkey from the vehicle with a shotgun. ECOs received the complaint after the video was accidentally sent to the complainant from a Maryville phone number. ECO Kinney watched the video and picked up several clues including the fact that the shot came from a pickup truck registered in New York and that the illegal hunting and harvest of the bird took place close to an interstate. The passenger taking the video also called the poacher by his first name during a conversation. ECO Kinney contacted the poacher, asked him several questions, and discovered that the illegal kill happened in Kittery, Maine. ECO Kinney contacted Maine Warden Eric Blanchard and law enforcement in Maine charged the hunter for hunting without a license and shooting from a motor vehicle. He faces nearly $800 in fines if convicted.
Wayward Bear Gets Stuck in City in Poughkeepsie
In the early morning hours of May 4, a young male bear wandered into the city of Poughkeepsie near Mansion and North Hamilton streets. The bear was likely in search of food after hibernating and the urban environment provided plentiful sources. Poughkeepsie City Police Officers and ECO Charles Eyler surrounded the bear, which was up in a tree. The officers contacted DEC’s Bureau of Wildlife and technicians arrived to anesthetize the animal. The bear slid down the tree onto a pad without injury and they weighed, aged, and tagged it. ECO Eyler and the officers lifted the 165-pound animal into DEC’s bear transportation trailer and took it to Cranberry Mountain Wildlife Management Area in Putnam County, where it was released back into the wild without incident.
ECO Assists with Injured Red-Tailed Hawk (Niagara County)
On May 19, ECO George Scheer responded to a citizen’s call reporting an injured hawk on their property in the town of Somerset. Utilizing his Wildlife Response Training, ECO Scheer identified the species as a red-tailed hawk. The hawk appeared to have sustained an injury to its right wing. ECO Scheer and a local licensed wildlife rehabilitator secured the injured hawk so it could be safely transported to a veterinarian for proper care.
On May 6, ECO Don Damrath and Geddes Police Officer Mike Sheppard reunited 15 Mallard ducklings with their mother after the ducklings fell into a storm drain at a busy intersection. A local business employee and Onondaga County Department of Water Environment Protection staff retrieved 12 of the ducklings, but three ducklings swam deeper into the drainpipe and refused to come out. ECO Damrath coaxed the three stragglers from the pipe using recorded duckling sounds. ECO Damrath and Officer Sheppard then secured the trio and reunited them with their siblings and mother at a nearby pond.
Striped Bass Poachers Caught with Gill Net
On May 7, a retired New York State trooper fishing on the Hudson River near the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge observed a gill net with several striped bass being hauled into a small vessel. As the boat returned to Charles Rider Park Boat Launch, the retired trooper relayed the information to the Town of Ulster Police Department. UPD Officer Michael Miller identified the vessel and interviewed the boat operator until ECO Jason Smith arrived on scene. The two officers located a gill net hidden in the boat that contained 24 striped bass, 12 herring, three white perch, and two yellow bullhead. The gill net operator was issued tickets for taking fish by means other than angling; taking striped bass out of slot size; taking striped bass over the allowable limit; taking herring over the allowable limit; and failing to carry a marine registry, returnable to the Town of Ulster Court.
On May 10, ECO Eric Templeton responded to the town of Nichols to investigate a report of a young fox kit stuck in a window well. Upon arrival, ECO Templeton was informed the baby fox had fallen into one of the homeowner’s window wells and had been there since the previous day. The homeowner had placed a board into the window well, but the baby fox was unable to climb out. ECO Templeton put on his protective equipment, recovered the fox, and transported the animal, unharmed, to a wildlife rehabilitator in Ithaca.
Too Many Trout
On April 12, 2020, ECOs Kevin Budniewski and Dustin Oliver assisted ECOs J.M. Powers and Nate Mead with a plain-clothes detail on Five Mile Creek in the town of Franklinville. On that same day DEC Fisheries staff stocked the creek in various locations. The undercover officers witnessed four individuals who each kept five trout that measured well over 12 inches. DEC regulations permit the taking of five trout per day, but only two can be over 12 inches. ECOs issued tickets to the four men for taking in excess of the daily limit. The anglers are scheduled to respond to the Franklinville Town Court.
Rehabilitated Peregrine Falcon Released into the Wild
On May 10, a rehabilitated peregrine falcon found last year in Delaware County was released into the wild. On Oct. 20, 2019, a resident contacted ECO Vern Bauer reporting an emaciate and sick falcon. ECO Bauer brought the 3-year-old male falcon to Missy Runyon of Friends of the Feathered and Furry Wildlife Center in Greene County. Medical staff discovered a pellet in the left shoulder and a dislocated shoulder with a ruptured air sac on its right. At the time, there was uncertainty if the falcon would ever fly again, let alone survive. Missy Runyun spent seven months rehabilitating the falcon and was present for the release.