New York Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – October 16, 2020
Illegal Deer Case Crosses State Lines
On Sept. 20, ECO Mangels assisted New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection law enforcement with a case involving two illegally harvested deer taken from a closed management zone. ECO Mangels interviewed the suspect and the suspect’s father and obtained the location of the buck in a freezer in New Jersey. The ECO received conflicting stories about the whereabouts of the doe. In New Jersey, during the fall bow season, it is unlawful to take an antlered deer without first taking an antlerless deer. NJDEP charged the suspect with two counts of taking a deer during the closed season, interference with the duties of a conservation officer, and possession of unlabeled deer parts.
Cold Drinks! Get Your Cold Drinks Here!”
This summer, ECOs Kochanowski and Jarecki were on patrol checking fishing access sites when the officers came across two budding entrepreneurs taking advantage of the summer heat by luring in thirsty customers to a cold drink stand. It didn’t take long for the ECOs to approach the salesmen, 10-year-old Sackets Harbor residents Carter Cook and Jacob Weaver. The kids lined up beverages including ice-cold water, lemonade, and cranberry and apple juice. After selling the ECOs drinks, the duo explained how excited they were to meet Environmental Conservation Police Officers. Jacob even expressed that it was his dream to become an ECO because of his love of hunting and fishing. The Officers explained the hard work that goes into being an ECO and encouraged Jacob to chase his dream. Carter noted with a smile that will stick with the ECOs forever, “It’s true, one person can really make another person’s day.”
Whipping Winds Strand Boaters (Herkimer County)
On Sept. 7, ECO Tabor, four hours into an early morning shift checking goose hunters, noticed winds increase dramatically. At approximately 9 a.m., DEC Dispatch called him requesting assistance for stranded boaters on Stillwater Reservoir. The boat started taking in water from the waves as it attempted to return to the launch. At the same time, another party heading to the launch in paddle craft became overpowered by wind and waves, taking refuge on a small gravel bar. ECO Tabor called Forest Ranger Savarie, working nearby, who met the ECO at the Stillwater launch. The officers then traveled to the stranded boaters’ locations in separate boats. At the island, the ECO/Forest Ranger team transferred the gear and people to the larger DEC vessel. With the load lightened, ECO Tabor operated the small boat closely behind the larger boat, allowing a safe crossing. With the first group safely back to the launch, the officers picked up the second group and assisted them back to shore. In all, eight people, one motorboat, and four paddle craft were returned safely to the launch.
Wildlife Shooting Spree
On Sept. 13, ECO Osborne received a complaint from a farmer who witnessed a man shoot from his vehicle in the town of Deposit the previous evening. The complainant obtained the shooter’s license plate and ECO Osborne ran the plate and responded to interview different subjects. After separating the parties involved, ECO Osborne compiled a Sept. 12 time line of events for the four subjects. The subjects admitted to driving around the town of Deposit in search of small game, shooting various critters from both a public highway and a motor vehicle. The subjects ended up shooting at beavers and fish, and killed an assortment of wildlife ranging from squirrels, chipmunks, songbirds, and hawks. As the day went on, the subjects shot at three different deer from a motor vehicle on a public highway with bird shot. ECO Osborne issued the subjects tickets for a total of 35 different charges ranging from hunting with the aid of a motor vehicle, hunting from a public roadway, killing protected birds, hunting without a license, trespassing, attempting to take big game illegally, hunting out of season, and allowing a junior hunter to hunt both big and small game without an adult mentor. The subjects, all under the age of 18, were arraigned in the Town of Deposit Court on Sept. 14 and paid a civil penalty of $1,300
Eat My ATV Dust
On Sept. 20, Forest Rangers Hicks and Gallagher received a complaint from a member of a local mountain bike club about illegal dirt bikes in the Rocky Point State Forest. Both Rangers responded to the area and observed the illegal operator who fled the area when Ranger Hicks attempted to stop him. Ranger Hicks followed the tracks and clouds of dust back to the operator’s residence and charged him with operating an ATV on public land. Approximately two hours later, Rangers observed an illegal ATV in the same area with the riders attempting to flee the scene after Ranger Gallagher attempted to stop them with his patrol vehicle. The operator of the ATV eventually stopped after noticing Ranger Hicks further down the trail. The operator was charged with operating an ATV on public land and without a helmet.
On Aug. 18, ECO Mathis responded to an ATV rollover accident in the town of Concord. A man suffered injuries after the ATV he was operating deep in the woods up a steep incline rolled on top of him. EMS stabilized the subject and ECO Mathis, Erie County Sheriff’s Deputies, and members of the Gowanda and Morton’s Corners Fire Department carried him out to a waiting ambulance for transport to a local hospital.
2020 New York International Air Show ATV Detail
On Aug. 29 and 30, ECOs Schneider, Schuck, Carl, and Mangels participated in an ATV detail for the 2020 New York International Air Show at the Orange County Airport. ECOs assisted New York State Police Troop “F”, Orange County Sherriff’s Office, Town and Village of Montgomery Police, and Town of Wallkill Police with crowd control, traffic control, and security. The air show successfully utilized a drive-in style format, maintaining a distance between all vehicles to adhere to COVID-19 guidelines. This year’s lineup included some top military and civilian performers, including the United States Air Force Thunderbirds, F-22 fighter jet demo, and West Point Parachute Team.
ECOs Team Up With County Sheriff for ATV Patrol
On Sept. 12, ECOs Newell and Carl joined Deputies Monahan and McLaughlin of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department for a patrol of the Minisink area in response to increased complaints of heavy ATV use on public and private lands. The patrol allowed the officers to identify the trails most heavily used and speak to landowners about problems reported.
Shooting in the Wrong Direction
On Sept. 19, ECO Wing responded to a waterfowl hunting complaint in the town of Guilford, Chenango County. The complainant stated that hunters were shooting in an unsafe direction. ECO Wing conducted an initial investigation and requested K9 assistance to process the scene before determining appropriate enforcement actions. On Sept. 20, ECO Armstrong joined ECOs Plows and Wing at the scene and deployed K9 Phoenix who located numerous shotshell casings and wads, helping the officers determine the direction of the hunters’ fire the previous day. Waterfowl hunting over water is generally an exception to the prohibition of shooting within 500 feet of a residence. The evidence located by K9 Phoenix established that shots were fired in a direction other than over the water, and led to summonses issued. ECO Plows also charged one subject with the use of lead shot while hunting waterfowl.