New York Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – April 30, 2021
Air Rifle Used to Take Deer
In November 2020, ECO Bastedo responded to a hunting-related complaint and observed an untagged antlered deer and an untagged antlerless deer on the lawn of a residence. The hunter, Jun Chen Shang, produced his regular season antlered deer tag and bow/muzzleloader tag filled out with the harvest information for that date. The bow/muzzleloader tag cannot be legally used during the regular season. Further investigation by ECOs Bastedo and Walraven determined the antlered deer was killed using a 25-caliber air rifle, which cannot be legally used to take deer. The officers issued tickets to the man for illegal take of a white-tailed deer, illegal implement, and failing to tag as required. The man’s regular season antlered deer tag was seized along with his bow/muzzleloader tag and DEC donated the deer to a local food pantry. On April 8, 2021, the Ulster County man paid a penalty in the Town of Gardiner Court for the illegal taking of deer. Jun Chen Shang settled by civil compromise in court and agreed to $1,107.50 in fines and surcharges.
Somebody’s Always Watching
(St. Lawrence County)
On March 8, ECO Schneller received a call from a concerned local law enforcement officer, claiming an ice fisherman on the St. Lawrence River in Waddington had caught several walleyes without returning the fish to the water. The officer advised that the angler was well over his daily limit of three walleyes. ECO Schneller responded to the location, approached the suspected poacher, and noticed four walleyes on the ice next to his portable ice shelter and three more concealed in the bottom of the portable ice shack. The officer issued one ticket to the angler for going over the daily walleye limit. ECOs cover large areas and sometimes rely on information from local residents to report environmental crimes.
On March 30, ECOs Macropoulos and Small received reports of a dolphin stranded in Manhasset Bay, Nassau County. When the ECOs arrived, they met with Nassau County Police, already on scene along with the Manhasset Lakeview, Great Neck, and Port Washington fire departments. The New York Marine Rescue Center was responding and requested ECO assistance in getting a better look at the dolphin to determine its condition. With help from the three fire departments on scene, ECO Macropoulos geared up in an ice suit and went into the bay while ECO Small remained on shore to communicate with NYMRC. ECO Macropoulos determined the marine mammal was a Common Dolphin showing signs of illness. NYMRC arrived on scene and following instructions from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and directed responders to reassess the situation the next morning. At first light on March 31, ECO Small observed the dolphin, now closer to shore. The dolphin was later determined to be deceased and DEC transported it to the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society for a necropsy.
• On April 3 while on patrol, Forest Ranger Hicks observed a pickup truck and trailer disposing landscape debris from an adjacent shopping center into the Rocky Point State Forest. Ranger Hicks apprehended the subjects as they began to exit the parking lot, ordering the pair to clean up the debris. The subjects were charged with unlawfully disposing of waste on state lands.
Intentional Deer Strike
On March 31, Town of Webb Police contacted ECO Noyes about a deer struck and killed by a vehicle in the village of Old Forge. Multiple eyewitnesses claimed the driver intentionally accelerated his truck toward two deer standing in the road, striking one and dragging it approximately 70 to 100 yards down the road. ECO Noyes accessed video footage from a local business’ security camera that corroborated eyewitness statements. With help from Old Forge Police, ECOs located the truck and driver in the town of Forestport, Oneida County, and found deer hair in the front bumper of the suspect’s truck. After interviewing the driver and presenting him with the evidence, the driver admitted to accelerating toward the deer, striking one, and dragging it down the road before stopping. The subject was issued appearance tickets to the Town of Webb Court for Environmental Conservation Law violations of taking deer from a public highway, taking deer while in a motor vehicle, and taking deer during the closed season.
Suspect in the Woods
On March 16, while patrolling the Catskill Creek area, ECO Smith received a request from a Greene County Sheriff’s Deputy for assistance with a traffic stop in the town of Catskill. A suspect fled the stopped vehicle into a nearby wooded area, and the deputy discovered a handgun and 30-round magazine inside the vehicle. ECO Smith responded and entered the wooded area with a Greene County Sheriff’s Deputy K9 unit. ECO Smith and the K9 unit made their way through a brushy wet area adjacent to Route 23 when the K9 unit picked up the trail that led them to the suspect, who was spotted in an open area. ECO Smith and the deputy apprehended the subject, who was charged with criminal possession of a weapon, obstructing governmental administration, criminal impersonation, criminal possession of a controlled substance, and aggravated unlicensed operation. New York State Police also assisted in this case.
On March 21 at 3:28 p.m., Forest Ranger Quinn responded in Salem to a report of a brush fire. Fire crews had extinguished the fire by the time Ranger Quinn arrived, but after a brief investigation, the property owner was issued a ticket for setting forest lands on fire during the state’s residential brush burning ban. Ranger Quinn was clear of the scene by 4 p.m. New York State’s residential brush burning ban is in effect through May 14.
The Goose is Loose
On March 15, ECOs Michalet and Milliron were conducting U.S. Food and Drug Administration shellfish checks during low tide at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge in Queens County when they noticed a Canada goose struggling to walk. After a closer look, the ECOs discovered the goose had fishing line wrapped around each leg. The officers successfully removed the lines without injury and the goose flew away. ECO Milliron collected the green braided line and now uses it as a teaching aide about the effect of litter and pollution on the environment and the species directly affected.
Turkey Caught Breaking and Entering (Erie County)
On March 23, an Erie County woman had a rude awakening when a turkey broke into her home. The woman heard a large bang and crash from her upstairs bedroom and discovered a turkey had busted through a glass window. The woman confined the bird to an upstairs bathroom by closing the door until ECO Machnica arrived to assist. The turkey flew around the bathroom, crashing into mirrors and walls, leaving broken glass everywhere. ECO Machnica contacted ECO Koepf for assistance to remove the turkey. The two officers used a neighbor’s fishing net to pin down the turkey and then grabbed the bird and brought it outside before it could cause further damage. The ECOs then set the turkey free and helped the woman clean-up the mess left behind.
A Special Birthday Wish
(St. Lawrence County)
ECOs Ryan and Canary recently joined members of the New York State Police and St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office to grant a special birthday request from a 4-year-old battling an illness. The birthday girl requested a birthday parade from local law enforcement agencies. Her mom said that while treatment is going well, the parade could help boost her daughter’s spirits. ECOs didn’t think twice about joining their law enforcement partners to grant this birthday wish. Police, fire, and rescue vehicles drove past the girl’s home with lights flashing as she and her family stood outside waving and enjoying the show. On their second loop around, ECOs Ryan and Canary stopped by to drop off some presents, say “hello,” and share their wishes for a speedy recovery.
Pups on Thin Ice
On March 24, ECO Smith received a call from State Police in Catskill about two dogs that fell through the ice on the Potic Reservoir in the town of Cairo. A motorist driving by the reservoir saw the dogs struggling in the broken ice and called police for help. ECO Smith responded to the location and found one of the dogs had freed itself from the ice and made it to shore while the other animal was still stuck on the broken ice approximately 70 feet from the shoreline. Utilizing a throw bag and Personal Flotation Device (PFD), ECO Smith accessed the ice and shuffled out to the dog. The officer pulled the dog from the water and slid her off the ice on the PFD. ECO Smith eventually located the owner of the dogs and returned the pets to their home. The owner said the dogs had escaped their home by digging and removing a barricade.
K9 Tracks Down Suspected Hunter
On March 26, a Westchester County man signed an Order on Consent and paid a $1,200 fine related to the illegal taking of a deer at Nissequogue River State Park. On Oct. 6, 2019, ECO DeRose spotted a man walking on a side road near the park and became suspicious that the subject may have been illegally hunting. After securing his patrol vehicle, ECO DeRose returned to the area on foot, but the man was gone. The officer deployed K9 Cramer, which located evidence of a deer being taken in the park, including a bow, camo sweatshirt, and a bloody arrow that matched those in the quiver of the bow. ECO DeRose worked with a local archery shop to track down the purchaser of the bow. With assistance from Environmental Conservation Investigator Sulkey, ECO DeRose contacted the hunter, who lives in Westchester County but whose hunting license showed an address not far from the park, and he claimed his bow had been stolen. However, as ECO DeRose presented more evidence against him, the hunter eventually admitted to shooting a doe in the state park and fleeing in his vehicle once he noticed K9 Cramer and ECO DeRose on the other side of the road.
On April 8, Forest Rangers Nally and Thompson, with the assistance of DEC Operations Northville sign shop staff Bailey and Edwards, installed a new Smokey Bear fire danger rating sign at the recently constructed Caroga Lake Volunteer Fire Company firehouse. Forest Rangers work closely with many local fire companies across the state, and while installing the sign were called upon to respond to a small brush fire. The Rangers and the fire company suppressed the fire quickly and returned to the fire house to complete the installation. DEC reminds New Yorkers that the state’s residential brush burning ban is in effect through May 14 to reduce wildfires.