New York Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – July 23, 2021
Revoked Hunter Gets Jail Time
A revoked hunter recently received jail time for illegally taking a deer in Saratoga County. In January 2021, ECO Shaw received an anonymous tip regarding large deer antlers brought into a local taxidermist in November 2020 by a revoked hunter using another hunter’s tag. ECO Shaw interviewed the licensed hunter who revealed that he had not shot the deer and had given his tags to a friend. The licensed hunter was charged with lending his tags to another. The revoked hunter eventually admitted to shooting the deer on opening day of the 2020 Southern Zone Deer Season. Officers charged the subject with hunting while revoked, killing a deer while revoked, and illegally transporting the deer. The subject was convicted in the Town of Milton Court and sentenced to 10 days in jail.
On June 17, ECO Burgess received a call from Forest Ranger Skudlarek reporting an injured fawn at the base of a waterfall overlook at Mine Kill State Park in Schoharie County. A park official, concerned that the public might attempt to rescue the fawn and put themselves at risk of injury, reached out to DEC for help. ECO Burgess and Ranger Skudlarek made their way to the bottom of the falls with equipment to secure the deer. While Officer Burgess captured the deer and secured it for transport up the bank, Ranger Skudlarek created a rope system to lift the packaged fawn safely to the top. The combination of the ECO’s wildlife knowledge and Forest Ranger’s rope and rescue training resulted in a successful rescue. Once safely at the top, the officers transported the fawn to Friends of the Feathered and Furry Wildlife Center for treatment.
Invasive Species Awareness Week
(Putnam and Westchester counties)
During the week of June 7 to 11, ECOs Tompkins, Thibodeau, Crisafulli, and Franz inspected more than 10 garden centers and nurseries throughout Putnam and Westchester counties looking for prohibited invasive plant species offered for sale. Targeted plants included golden bamboo (phyllostachys aurea) and yellow groove bamboo (phyllostachys aureosulcata). The ECOs were happy to report none of the businesses inspected had invasive species for sale. The officers spoke with the staff and the public at the garden centers and nurseries to explain how prohibited invasive species such as golden and yellow groove bamboo can cripple a native ecosystem by spreading quickly and consuming the resources relied upon by native plant species. New York State regulations regarding prohibited invasive plant species took effect in March 2015, and any prohibited invasive plant species offered for sale or introduced to a native habitat is unlawful and subject to removal and/or possible fines.
On June 11, while on an early morning patrol in East Hampton, ECO Boyes checked several popular fishing locations. While checking a group of commercial fishermen, the ECO observed an angler down the beach catch a fish and place it in a cooler. The officer went down to the beach to see how the angler was making out and found a cooler with several porgies and an undersized fluke. The angler was ticketed for possession of undersized fluke, returnable to Town of East Hampton Court.
Striped Bass Run
On June 11, during a striped bass enforcement detail, ECO McCabe spent the late-night hours checking anglers at popular spots in Southampton. Using a night vision scope, the ECO observed several anglers who did not return their striped bass to the water. The officer also nabbed two fishermen with undersized striped bass. All violators were written tickets, returnable to Southampton Town Court. Striped bass are a highly sought-after fish, accessible from shore, as well as boats. Anglers targeting striped bass often are rewarded with a tough fight and great tasting meat. DEC regulations allow anglers to only keep striped bass between 28 and 35 inches in length and circle hooks are required when using bait.
Not the Winning Fish
On June 12, ECOs Dickson and Cacciola conducted a boat patrol for marine fishing enforcement on the Long Island Sound near Stony Brook, the same day a fluke tournament was being hosted by a local yacht club. During the tournament, the ECOs discovered one of the boats in possession of two undersized fluke measuring 16.5 and 18 inches. The captain of the vessel said he was unaware that the minimum size of fluke is 19 inches. Officers issued the subject a ticket for possession of undersized fluke returnable to Suffolk First District Court.
On June 12, ECO Grose received reports of an injured black bear in the town of Forestburgh. The ECO arrived at the scene and located a yearling bear with two leg injuries. A local wildlife rehabilitator and staff arrived to assist and the group was able to tranquilize and capture the young bear. The bear will be evaluated for further injuries and treated as needed.
On June 25 at 6:18 p.m., Forest Ranger Hanno advised that while on routine patrol, he witnessed an ATV accident in the Frank E. Jadwin Memorial State Forest. A 57-year-old man from Pahrump, Nev., was operating the ATV, pulling a trailer with two 14-year-old girls from Liverpool inside when the driver lost control of the vehicle. The accident caused the trailer to disconnect from the ATV and roll over. Ranger Hanno assessed the two young passengers in the trailer and determined one subject had injured her arm and the other was exhibiting signs of a traumatic brain injury and a wrist injury. Ranger Hanno stabilized the subject with the suspected TBI and contacted Lewis County 911 for EMS response. Both girls were wearing helmets, or their injuries could have been much worse. Once Lewis County Search and Rescue was on scene, the subjects were loaded into the ambulance for transport to a local hospital and the young person exhibiting TBI symptoms was later airlifted to a hospital in Syracuse.
On June 13, ECO Burgess received a call reporting an injured eagle on I-90 westbound near Canajoharie. New York State Department of Transportation workers removing debris from the road noticed the eagle attempt to fly from thick grass off the highway to no avail. ECO Burgess waded through eight-foot phragmites and swampy conditions with a net and succeeded in getting the injured bird. It is believed the eagle was struck by a vehicle and ended up trapped in the swampy area off the roadway. ECO Burgess transported the bird to Friends of the Feathered and Furry Wildlife Center, where it tested positive for lead exposure and is being treated for its injuries.
Free Fishing Day
On June 26, employees at Gilbert Lake State Park joined DEC’s Region 4 Fisheries staff to host a free fishing day during one of the state’s annual Free Fishing Weekends. This was the first time a free fishing event was held at the park. Approximately 40 participants, mostly young people, took part, catching multiple fish, including New York’s most common and flashy-colored sunfish, the pumpkinseed. ECO Fetterman assisted with the event, providing guidance, education, and extra gear to many of the young anglers. Both employees and attendees were so pleased with the outcome they are planning to do it again next year.