New York Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – November 12, 2021
Lake Ontario Fish Detail Finds Violators
On Oct. 21, Region 8 ECOs participated in a detail on Lake Ontario targeting the unlawful taking of fish during their spawning runs. Officers patrolled tributaries from Orleans to Wayne County in search of illegal activity. ECOs Baker and Muchow, assigned to eastern Monroe County, which includes the city of Rochester, observed four individuals carrying what appeared to be large garbage bags full of fish. The ECOs quickly intercepted the anglers to inspect their catch. Officers found one angler in possession of 40 salmon, five steelhead, and seven walleyes, packed into totes in the corner of his van. The remaining anglers were found with 10 salmon in a cart. ECOs issued five tickets to the group returnable to the City of Rochester Court. Charges include illegal commercialization of fish, taking over the limit of salmon, taking undersized walleye, and fishing without a license.
Storm Damage Response
On Oct. 16 at 4:07 p.m., Forest Rangers Thompson and Scott assisted the Speculator and Lake Pleasant Fire Departments, town workers, and the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office with tree removal from the roadways in the Speculator Tree Farm. Trees fell during a storm and trapped several hunters and an Environmental Conservation Police Officer (ECO). No injuries or property damage were reported, but the tree prevented their ability to leave the property. At 5:07 p.m., all roadways were clear of trees and everyone trapped was out safely.
2021 Youth Pheasant Hunts
This fall, a series of youth hunts across New York State gave aspiring hunters the chance to get hands-on experience in the field. On Oct. 10, ECOs assisted with a youth pheasant hunt hosted by Pheasants on the Flats in Batavia. This hunt gave youth hunters the opportunity to be afield with experienced hunters and dog handlers. ECOs educated participants about upland game bird hunting tactics and safe firearm handling. Each of the young hunters successfully harvested at least one pheasant. In Jefferson County, ECOs hosted the 12th annual Youth Waterfowl and Pheasant Hunt. This was the first year that hunters ages 12 to 15 could hunt for both waterfowl and pheasant. Before heading out, youth practiced the rules and regulations of hunting, calls and calling, waterfowl identification, and working with a dog for pheasant hunting. Each of the youth hunters successfully took their daily limit of two pheasants. The hunt was hosted by the Sackets Harbor Sportsman’s Club and made possible by donations from the New York Conservation Officers Association, as well as the local chapter of National Wild Turkey Federation. In Lewis County, ECOs Kraeger and Jarecki assisted at the 15th anniversary of the Pat Arnold Youth Pheasant Hunt. Nine youth hunters ages 12 to 15 participated in the hunt and all were successful in harvesting their daily limit of two birds. ECOs assisted with skeet shooting, shared safe firearm handling techniques, and accompanied the youth on their hunts.
Pinging Lost Hunter
On Oct. 16 at 10:30 a.m., Lewis County 911 contacted DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch reporting a lost hunter in the East Fish Creek Easement. Forest Ranger Hanno and Lt. Nowalk responded to the coordinates provided by 911. Once on scene, Rangers found the hunter’s vehicle and proceeded toward a cellphone ping locating the 35-year-old man from Benson, VT, about one mile away along the Salmon River. At 1:55 p.m., the hunter and Rangers were out of the woods and clear of the scene.
Lean-to and Bridge Repair
On Oct. 14, Region 5 Forest Rangers, with the assistance of DEC Foresters and New York State Police Aviation, conducted sling load missions in the West Canada Lake Wilderness and Silver Lake Wilderness to repair lean-tos and bridges. The lean-tos, primitive tent sites, and bridges in these wilderness areas provide many opportunities for long-distance, overnight loop hikes from many trailheads.
On Oct. 17 at 11:08 p.m., Herkimer County 911 contacted Ray Brook Dispatch reporting a 52-year-old man from Lowville was overdue from hunting. The hunter’s family became concerned when he didn’t return after dark and they located his vehicle at the intersection of Stillwater and Basket Factory roads in the Independence River Wild Forest. County 911 advised that an officer from the Town of Webb Police Department was responding to the intersection to meet the reporting party. Forest Rangers Hanno and Thomes responded to assist. At 1:05 a.m., Ranger Hanno advised Dispatch that they guided the missing hunter out to their location using sirens. The subject was in good health and required no additional assistance.
No Map, No Compass and No Light
On Oct. 22 at 7:03 p.m., Lewis County 911 contacted DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch requesting assistance locating an overdue hunter in the Independence River Wild Forest. Forest Rangers Lee and Hanno responded to Partridgeville Road where they met up with two Lewis County Sheriff’s Deputies at the scene. After interviewing members of the hunting party, the Rangers determined the 58-year-old hunter from LaFargeville was likely in a half-mile section of woods near the camp. To assist the hiker, one deputy operated a siren from a fixed location while the second deputy drove along a nearby section of highway with emergency lights activated. After approximately 30 minutes, the hunter walked out to the road and where they were met by responders. The subject explained he had hunted this area for nearly 15 years, but became disoriented after dark and didn’t have a map, compass, or source of light. Resources were clear at 8:14 p.m.
Careers on Wheels
(St. Lawrence County)
On Oct. 22, ECO Ryan attending the “Careers on Wheels” event at Potsdam Elementary School where multiple emergency service agencies, including DEC’s Division of Law Enforcement, spoke briefly to about their jobs to Pre-K through fourth-grade students. Officer Ryan explained how he became an ECO and the work that goes into enforcing environmental laws to ensure the protection of natural resources and the public. The students asked many questions and offered some stories of their own about interactions with ECOs. The event was such a success that the Potsdam Central School District plans to hold it again next year.