New York Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – December 11, 2020
Illegal Hunting Camp
On Nov. 13, Forest Rangers Hanno and McCartney discovered an illegal camp near a remote pond in the West Canada Lake Wilderness Area. Upon further investigation, the forest rangers observed multiple state land violations. On the evening of Nov. 19, the Rangers apprehended two hunters from Forestport occupying the camp. An interview with the two hunters revealed the pair was responsible for cutting out a trail, cutting 14 trees to build their camp, using a chainsaw in a wilderness area, storing personal property on state land, camping violations, and landing a plane on a prohibited body of water in a wilderness area. Rangers issued multiple tickets for the various offenses.
On Nov. 15, ECO Carl learned that a cadet from West Point Military Academy found a deer skull with 10-point velvet antlers. The deer was suspected to have died several months ago due to an outbreak of epizootic hemorrhagic disease in Orange County. The cadet posted photos of the unique skull and antlers on social media, leading other West Point staff to contact DEC. In coordination with West Point Military Police’s Environmental Conservation Unit sergeant, the deer skull was voluntarily forfeited into his possession. It will be offered to the Department of Natural Resources at West Point to be used as an educational tool. The cadet was warned that the possession of any part of protected wildlife, other than those permitted by the Environmental Conservation Law, is illegal.
(St. Lawrence County)
On Oct. 29 at 5:32 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a hunter reporting an overdue member of his party. The caller stated that a 24-year-old man, from Brooktondale, left to hunt at 9 a.m. and should have been back at their campsite by 11 a.m. Forest Rangers Benzel, Shea, Morehouse, Hogan, and Baldwin responded to the High Falls trail-head in Wanakena with two, 6-wheel ATVs to search the area. At 8:20 p.m., Ranger Benzel advised dispatch that Ranger Shea had located the hunter and had brought him to the group’s campsite.
Youth Waterfowl Training
On Saturday, Oct. 24, DEC’s Region 1 Hunter Education Program and Division of Law Enforcement staff, along with several volunteers, participated in providing the instructional day for the 24th annual Youth Waterfowl Program at the Peconic River Sportsman’s Club in Suffolk County. Eighteen young hunters ages 12 to 15 were provided with the knowledge necessary to become a safe and ethical waterfowl hunter. The day began with HEP staff teaching waterfowl identification. DLE staff provided presentations on boating safety, cold water survival, waterfowl regulations and hunting ethics. ECO DeRose and K9 Cramer demonstrated vehicle searches for waterfowl carcasses, along with locating spent shell casings in the woods. In the afternoon, students switched between observing decoy demonstrations and dog retrieval by HEP and PRSC instructors, while we took others to the range and taught firearm safety while shooting at flying clay targets. All students successfully completed the instructional day and did not leave empty handed. On the Youth Waterfowl Weekend in November, these students were assigned blinds and mentors, with the hope of providing them a successful hunting opportunity. Ducks Unlimited, NYCOA, and Tanglefree all donated gear for students to use for the youth hunt.
Mystery Donation of Ivory
(New York County)
On Nov. 7, ECOs Lovgren and Michalet responded to a call from a thrift store in Manhattan that received several bags of what appeared to be carvings made from ivory from an anonymous donor. The manager of the thrift store took to social media to find out who would be best to contact about inspecting the suspected ivory and that led her to DEC. ECOs Lovgren and Michalet inspected the contents of the donation and confirmed it to be genuine ivory. All ECOs are trained to identify ivory and other items from endangered species. Of the 500 pieces donated, the majority were found to be imported from India and Hong Kong. The sale of ivory is prohibited by law, except with a permit from DEC in very limited circumstances and the donation of ivory is severely restricted except under permit from DEC. DEC’s Division of Law Enforcement, along with Federal Agents, have hosted Ivory Crush events in Times Square and Central Park over the years to bring awareness and deter the illegal commercialization of ivory. Though many protections are in place globally, the fight against the illegal commercialization of ivory continues and New York City is one of the main hubs for the sale of ivory in North America.
A Deer at the Ballpark
On Nov. 8, the City of Rochester Police Department contacted ECO Muchow to assist with a deer trapped in a gate at Frontier Field, home of the Rochester Red Wings baseball team. Rochester officers tried to push the deer through the gate but were unsuccessful. ECO Muchow asked an employee of Frontier Field for tools to try to bend the bars to free the deer. The employee came through with two chain hoists that worked perfectly to make a little more room for ECO Muchow to lift the deer and pushed her through. The deer ran away and did not appear to be injured.
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.