New York Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – November 27, 2020
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Environmental Conservation Police Officers enforce the 71 Chapters of NY Environmental Conservation Law protecting fish and wildlife and preserving environmental quality across New York. In 2019, the 288 ECOs across the state responded to 25,704 calls and worked on cases that resulted in 16,855 tickets or arrests for crimes ranging from deer poaching to solid waste dumping, illegal mining, the black market pet trade, and excessive emissions violations.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers respond to search and rescue incidents statewide. Working with other state agencies, local emergency response organizations, and volunteer search and rescue groups, Forest Rangers locate and extract lost, injured, or distressed people from across New York State. In 2019, DEC Forest Rangers conducted 337 search and rescue missions, extinguished 74 wildfires that burned a total of 212 acres, participated in 29 prescribed fires that burned and rejuvenated 645 acres, and worked on cases that resulted in 2,507 tickets or arrests.
If you witness an environmental crime or believe a violation of environmental law occurred, please call the DEC Division of Law Enforcement hotline at 1-844-DEC-ECOS (1-844-332-3267).
K9 Poacher Bust
On Oct. 27, two Sullivan County men appeared in the Town of Bethel Court to answer charges related to a poaching incident earlier this year. On March 24, ECOs Wood, Parker, and Doroski received reports from a concerned citizen who advised officers he saw fresh blood in the snow and on the back of a white van just up the road in Bethel. ECO Wood deployed K-9 Deming and located a spent shell casing while ECOs Parker and Doroski investigated the van and noticed what appeared to be deer hair on the back of the van and blood inside of it. Officers interviewed residents at that location, Oscar Casas and Julio Dubon. When questioned, the men admitted to shooting a deer from a vehicle. Casas stated he shot the deer the previous night from his vehicle after the sun had set with the aid of a spotlight and Dubon, a passenger in the car, admitted to assisting with the take of the deer. Dubon showed ECOs where the deer was located inside a shed behind the residence. Officers seized the deer and the rifle and charged Casas with taking deer except as permitted, possession of a loaded long gun in a motor vehicle, and taking deer with the aid of an artificial light. Dubon was charged with being an accessory to the illegal take of a deer, taking deer except as permitted, and taking big game out of season. Both Casas and Dubon agreed to a civil compromise in court and were fined $2,200 plus applicable court fees.
Lost, But Warm by the Fire
On Oct. 24 at 5:31 p.m., Hamilton County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch reporting a missing 68-year-old hunter from South Glens Falls in the Siamese Ponds Wilderness Area. Forest Rangers Thompson, Hanno, Gullen, Murphy, Donegan, and Quinn responded to the hunting party’s camp to begin search efforts. At 8:30 p.m., Rangers were on scene and broke into groups of two for a Type II search by voice along the route of the hunter’s last known location. The hunter responded to a gunshot with one of his own at 1:30 a.m. The hunter was located by Rangers at 1:46 a.m., in good health and had built a fire to stay warm. Rangers walked him back the 2 miles to the hunting party’s rowboat and crossed the lake back to camp. Rangers were brought out by other camp members by UTV and were cleared of the scene at 5:15 a.m.
Injured Owls Rescued
(Columbia and Rensselaer counties)
On Nov. 8, ECOs Curinga and Davey responded to reports of two injured barred owls struck by motor vehicles in two separate locations. One of the owls was struck in Copake, Columbia County, while the other was struck in Brunswick, Rensselaer County. The ECOs successfully captured the owls and transported them to Friends of the Feathered and Furry Wildlife Center in Greene County. Both owls appeared to respond well to treatment and will hopefully be released back into the wild soon.
Hunter With a Broken Leg
On Oct. 26 at 9:37 a.m., Warren County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch reporting an injured hunter on a ski trail near Gore Mountain in North Creek. Further information indicated the injury was a broken leg due to entrapment under a boulder. Forest Rangers Kabrehl, Donegan, and Quinn responded to assist. At 11:06 a.m., Rangers Quinn and Donegan reached the injured man, removed him from the boulder entrapment, and performed advanced wilderness first aid to a badly damaged leg with severe lacerations and a compound fracture. Forest Rangers and members of the North River Fire Department carried the 31-year-old hunter from Hudson Falls off the ledge in a litter to a location with ATV access. The hunter was transported to a local hospital for further medical treatment.
Tiger (Tooth) King
On Sept. 11, a Queens County man was fined for his role in the illegal sale of a tiger tooth. Wildlife parts of endangered species like tigers are prohibited from sale in New York. The tooth was offered for sale on Craigslist for $500. On Aug. 17, ECOs Lovgren and Traynor went undercover to arrange “buying” the tooth pendant and met with the seller in Queens. Igor Mukhin was issued a Notice of Violation for selling endangered wildlife parts and the case was closed with a fine of $500, with $250 suspended. The tiger tooth was forfeited to the State of New York and will be used for educational purposes