New York Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – October 30, 2020
Joint Investigation Nabs Bear Poacher
On Sept. 28, ECOs Walraven and Johnson charged a 63-year-old New Jersey man with several misdemeanor charges and a violation for hunting a black bear with the aid of a pre-established bait pile, discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a residence, and unlawfully taking a black bear. The charges stem from an investigation in the Wawarsing, Ulster County, where a complaint led officers to discover a bear shot on opening day of the early bear season with the help of bait piles. Molasses, corn, and sardines were stashed behind a nearby residence. ECOs Walraven and Johnson contacted Lieutenant Sutton of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection for assistance and he seized the bear hide at a local taxidermist and turned it over to the officers for evidence. Faced with the evidence against him, the New Jersey man eventually confessed to the crimes. If convicted, he faces thousands of dollars in fines and up to a year in jail. Any person charged with an offense or offenses are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Youth Pheasant Hunt
(Fulton, Saratoga and Washington counties)
On Sept. 26, ECOs in Fulton, Saratoga, and Washington counties headed out before sunrise to meet eager youth pheasant hunters. The day before, the officers assisted DEC Wildlife staff with stocking pheasants throughout the area at various locations open to youth pheasant hunting. After speaking to the young hunters about the importance of hunting safety, several reported having successful hunts during opening day.
On Sept. 26 Forest Ranger Pries, along with ECOs Tompkins and Crisafulli, joined the Putnam County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs for the annual youth pheasant hunt at the Great Swamp Wildlife Management Area. Every year, children aged 12 to 15 have the chance to experience pheasant hunting the weekend prior to the opening of the season. This gives first-time youth hunters a better chance at a successful hunt and helps keep young people engaged in the sport. Annually, the federation sponsors a youth hunt on this weekend after obtaining a permit from DEC to buy and release pheasants on state lands to increase the kids’ chances. Volunteers also donate their time by bringing trained dogs to further increase the kids’ chance of a successful hunt. This year, approximately 15 kids attended the hunt and each was able to take a pheasant, many for the first time. ECOs Tompkins and Crisafulli and Ranger Pries walked the fields and helped flush pheasants. The officers shared hunting safety tips with the youth hunters.
On Oct. 7, Acting Lt. Staples was contacted by DEC Operations staff because they could smell and see smoke at Ossian State Forest but couldn’t locate a fire. Operations staff later called back and said that they had found the small ground fire. Forest Rangers Dormer and Cordell responded with a six-wheel ATV equipped with a pump and worked on suppressing the one-tenth-of-an-acre fire along with Fire Warden Clark’s assistance over a period of five days. Ranger Dormer determined the cause of the fire to be an improperly extinguished campfire.
1th Annual Youth Waterfowl Hunt
Eight young hunters and ECOs from Jefferson County recently joined together to learn about safely hunting waterfowl. On Sept. 13, the group met at the Sackets Harbor Sportsman’s Club for an education and safety day where ECOs explained rules and regulations, hunting strategies and calling, and safety precautions, and took the young hunters shooting at the on-site range. The following Saturday, officers took participants afield for the Northeastern Zone youth waterfowl hunt weekend. It was a chilly morning with temperatures around 30 degrees, but it was well worth it as 17 ducks and two geese were harvested before the day’s end. This is the 11th year the event, sponsored by the New York Conservation Officers Association and the Northern New York Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, was held at the Sportsman’s Club. These events work to foster a positive relationship between the state’s wildlife protectors and the youth that will also hopefully become lifelong conservationists.
Closure in Illegal Dumping Case
On Sept. 30, a Sullivan County man pleaded guilty in connection with an illegal dumping case investigated by DEC in the town of Thompson. On July 13, ECO Parker with. ECO Parker arrived at the site of an illegal dumping case after received a call from the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office. He was met by Deputy Oquendo and the officers searched through the trash, which mostly consisted of construction and demolition debris. The officers then interviewed several individuals in the area who were having their houses remodeled. One of the homeowners advised the officers that they had hired an individual to remove the waste several weeks prior, providing them with the man’s first name and phone number. The officers met with the suspect who admitted to the illegal dumping, stating that his trailer had gotten a flat tire so he decided to dump the garbage in the closest place he could find. Tim Nash, of Fallsburg, pleaded guilty to the charges and was fined $1,500 plus applicable court fees.
Youth, Women’s Waterfowl Hunt
(Madison and Oneida counties)
The sportsmen and women of Oneida and Madison counties hosted a goose hunting weekend Sept, 19-20 for local youth and women. Eighteen people signed up for the hunt. On Saturday seven youth and two women harvested 17 geese and on Sunday five geese were taken. The sportsmen and women for the two counties would like to thank ECOs Steve Lakeman and Ricardo Grisolini, Oneida County Sheriff Deputy John Ford and two local sportsmen Mike Kochanowski and Justin Rejman who assist every year with this program. Also, thanks to ECO Zach Kochanowski and his trusty retriever, Tucker.
Cub Scout Outreach
On Sept. 26, ECO Grady attended the Fall Festival at Woodside Nursery and Garden Center in North Patchogue. The beautiful weather brought a steady stream of visitors to the event, with a large number of young people interested in learning more about the outdoors. ECO Grady displayed furs, pamphlets, and educational materials that were a big hit with the crowd. The ECO also answered questions from the public and provided information about local hunting, fishing, and native New York wildlife.