New York Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – July 9, 2021
On June 2, three individuals pleaded guilty and paid fines for charges related to the illegal taking of deer in Jefferson County in 2020. Last year on Dec. 5, ECO Jackson received a call from a resident who saw a spotlight shining in the field across from his home and heard a gunshot and a vehicle rev its engine before speeding away. ECO Jackson responded and located a dead buck in the field. The ECO remained at the location with the expectation that the shooter would return to recover the animal and called in Lt. Bartoszewski to help canvass the area. Lt. Bartoszewski located a dead doe in the area, and a few hours later, the two officers heard a gunshot ring out. After determining where the shot originated, the ECOs located an older model Dodge minivan with three subjects inside. The men had two spotlights, two rifles, and a shotgun. A blue tarp in the rear of the van had dried blood and deer hair on it. The subjects admitted to shooting at a deer in the area, but would not take responsibility for the dead buck or doe found nearby. The three men were arrested and arraigned on multiple charges including taking deer with the aid of a spotlight, possession of a loaded gun in a motor vehicle, and discharging a firearm from a public highway. The subjects appeared in the Town of Ellisburg Court, pleaded guilty, and each agreed to a civil penalty of $1,000.
Fish Out of Season
During a recent patrol at the U.S. Coast Guard Station at Fire Island, ECOs Cacciola and Perkins observed a fisherman casting a line into the Fire Island Inlet. The officers checked in with the angler and discovered that he possessed a black plastic bag in a cooler with one bluefish and one tautog. Not currently in season, the tautog was also undersized at 14 inches. The ECOs charged the angler with taking a fish out of season and catching an undersized fish.
After ECOs finished issuing a summons for the undersized fish on Fire Island (above), the officers responded to a call from New York State Park Police about an unauthorized utility terrain vehicle on the beach at Democratic Point, an area where 4×4 vehicles are allowed with the appropriate permit. ECOs Cacciola and Perkins were first on scene and observed three individuals lounging on the beach next to the unauthorized UTV. The group claimed they did not know they were breaking any laws. The ECOs escorted the group back to their trailer, which was illegally parked in the area, and turned the case over to State Park Police for enforcement.
Illegally Possessed Fawn
On June 3, ECOs Smith and Palmateer investigated a complaint about an illegally possessed whitetail fawn. ECO Smith attempted to contact the subject, who was actively avoiding law enforcement. In response, the officers waited outside the subject’s home for several hours before he emerged from the residence with the fawn. The ECOs apprehended the man and after interviewing him, learned that he had illegally possessed the fawn for about four days and fed it a combination of sugar water and goat’s milk, neither of which are healthy nor beneficial to wild fawns. The ECOs transported the fawn to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator in Greene County, where it was determined to be malnourished. The man was issued a ticket for possessing protected wildlife without a permit, returnable to the Town of Cairo Court.
On June 10, while checking anglers in Hampton Bays, ECO McCabe heard reports on Southampton Police radio that a vessel had capsized near a local waterfront restaurant. The dispatcher stated that the operator of the vessel was stranded, sitting on top of the capsized boat in Shinnecock Bay. ECO McCabe radioed the responding Southampton Town Bay Constable and offered his assistance in rescuing the boat operator. Despite windy conditions, rough seas, and shallow water, the Bay Constable was able to navigate their vessel close enough so the ECO could grab the stranded boater and bring him safely to shore. The boater was not injured.
Honorary Vessel Captain of A4
(Marine District, NYC)
On June 8, ECOs Pansini and Milliron conducted a ride-along aboard DEC Marine Enforcement Unit (MEU) Vessel A4 with a very special guest. Six-year old Rosie Ramirez, the daughter of a Florida Highway Patrol Sergeant, was the honorary vessel captain for the day. Rosie is currently battling a rare childhood cancer and travels regularly from Florida to New York City with her mother for treatment. A big fan of boats, Rosie wished for a tour of the Big Apple’s waterways and ECOs were happy to oblige. Accompanying Rosie was her mother Nikki Ramirez, as well as New York State Troopers Soares, Ruiz, and Reyes. MEU ECOs set a course south along the East River and into New York Harbor to get a close look at the Statue of Liberty. Rosie learned some nautical phrases and was tasked with letting the crew know when the boat was ready to go fast, which she loved. Upon arrival to Lady Liberty, the group was met by two vessels from the New York City Fire Department’s Marine Division for a water display using their water cannons. Meanwhile, up above, the New York Police Department’s Aviation Unit conducted a low fly-by, to provide Rosie with a view of the helicopter up close and in action. When the displays were finished, Rosie got to meet members of the U.S. Coast Guard aboard one of their vessels.
Jaywalking Snapping Turtle
On June 9, ECO Lovgren responded to a call about a turtle seen crossing a busy intersection in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn. Employees from a nearby auto body shop captured the turtle and kept it safe until the ECO arrived. Identified as a native snapping turtle, New York’s official state reptile, the species can live an average of 30 to 40 years and is notorious for crossing roads to lay their eggs during this time of year. ECO Lovgren took possession of the turtle and released it back into state waters.
Surprising Eagle Fight
On June 10, Lieutenant Reilly received a call for help from Muttontown Police. The officers responded to a residence where the homeowner had heard a ruckus in his backyard and was surprised to see two bald eagles fighting on his lawn. When the Muttontown police officers arrived, the winning male had already flown away but the other adult male was sitting stunned along the bushes. Lt. Reilly and ECO Small responded and called a local rehabilitator with raptor experience to assist in the capture and care of the animal. The ECOs and Muttontown police officers assisted in corralling the animal and the rehabilitator put the eagle into a carrier. The eagle had cuts on its head and feet and was taken to a veterinarian for evaluation.
Rope Rescue Training
From June 16 to 18, Region 6 Forest Rangers assembled at Black Bear Mountain to perform the annual Operations Level Rope Rescue training. The training focuses on patient packaging for a moderate angle rescue, release hitches, component-based lowers and raises, and “hot change overs.” A litter wheel is also incorporated into the scenarios.