New York Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – December 24, 2021
No License, Hunting Over Bait
On Nov. 29, ECO Noyes received an anonymous tip about a large buck shot on a baited property in the town of Forestport. ECO Noyes responded to the property and found no one was home. The ECO observed a blood trail in the driveway leading to a barn and a fresh gut pile with salt lick, pumpkins, corn, and bait block scattered throughout the yard. Early the next morning, Officer Noyes went back to the residence and interviewed the couple living there. Faced with mounting evidence against them, the husband took Noyes to the barn and showed him a hanging 10-point buck. After questioning, the couple admitted they went hunting together on their baited property and the wife shot the 10-point buck using her husband’s buck tag since she had no hunting license. Officer Noyes seized the buck and issued summonses returnable to the Town of Forestport Court for several violations including illegal take of wildlife, hunting over bait, lending tags to another, failing to tag deer as required, placing salt licks on lands inhabited by deer, and hunting without a license.
No Trust in an App
On Nov. 26 at 3:55 p.m., Ranger Franceschina received a call from ECO Johnson about a 46-year-old hunter who was disoriented and in need of assistance in Bluestone Wild Forest near Jockey Hill Road. The hunter, from Lake Katrine, sent a location pin drop, but did not trust the app to guide him out of the woods. Ranger Franceschina and ECO Johnson responded to assist. At 4:15 p.m., Ranger Franceschina spoke to the hunter, who provided his coordinates. Ranger Franceschina entered the woods from the north side of Jockey Hill Road and ECO Johnson entered from the south side along Route 28. At 4:30 p.m., Ranger Franceschina located the hunter in good health and led him out of the woods. Resources were clear at 5 p.m.
Five Loaded Firearms
On Nov. 20, while patrolling known hunting areas in Orange County, Lt. Bello and ECO Carl encountered a group of hunters in the town of Hamptonburgh. As the Officers approached the hunting party, one individual seated on an ATV reached for the bolt of a rifle mounted on the gun rack. Another subject near the side door of his van, appeared to reach for a firearm. Both subjects were ordered to leave the guns as they were as three other members of the hunting party emerged from the woods. ECO Carl conducted a thorough search of the trucks, van, and ATVs on scene. A total of five firearms were loaded in or on the vehicles, three of which were owned by one individual. Tickets were issued to three members of the hunting party returnable to the Town of Hamptonburgh Court.
On the Line
On Nov. 24, ECO Parker responded to a report that a deer had been shot from the roadway in the town of Colchester. ECO Parker met with the caller who reported he was hunting when he saw an SUV drive along the roadway, fire a single shot, and drive off quickly. The complainant found an 8-point buck that had just been killed in the area of the shot, contacted law enforcement, and waited behind an abandoned house until he confronted the suspects when they returned. Upon arrival, ECO Parker interviewed the suspects and determined that the driver stepped just outside his car door and shot the deer from the roadway. ECO Parker seized the rifle used and found two additional rifles in the car, one of which was loaded. ECO Parker interviewed the passenger and determined he had attempted to assist the shooter in retrieving the deer. Officer Parker radioed for assistance and a K-9 deployment. The Town of Colchester Police Department arrived and assisted with securing the scene. A short time later, ECOs Wood and Bauer joined the responders. ECO Wood deployed K9 CJ and ECO Bauer deployed K9 Woods on scene for a spent shell casing detection. The driver was charged with multiple offenses, including possessing a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, shooting from a public highway, illegally taking deer except as permitted, failure to tag deer, and several vehicle traffic law offenses. The passenger was charged as an accessory for assisting in the illegal take of the deer.
Opening Weekend of Deer Season at Stewart State Forest
On Nov. 20, ECOs Schnieder, Schuck, Carl, and Lovgren, led by Lt. Bello, and DEC Forest Rangers Pries and Jahn, helped to ensure a safe and lawful opening weekend at Stewart State Forest. The ECOs and Rangers checked tags and made sure those afield were following hunting regulations. Stewart State Forest is a popular area for hunters on opening day each year.
K9 ECO Assists in Two-County Car Chase (Genesee and Orleans Counties)
On Dec. 1, ECO Fuerch received a complaint from a coyote hunter who had encountered a male subject carrying a shotgun and a backpack while trespassing on the property. The subject dropped the backpack and ran into the woods when the complainant confronted him, and the complainant retrieved the backpack, which contained deer antlers and deer calls. The complainant advised ECO Fuerch that he parks at the Stafford Highway Department and did not observe other vehicles in the area. While checking nearby storage units for possible vehicles, Officer Fuerch observed a vehicle parked partially in the roadway with its lights off. Suspecting the vehicle was there to pick up the subject who ran into the woods earlier, the ECO approached and turned on her emergency lights. The vehicle drove off, and Officer Fuerch radioed a Genesee County Sheriff’s Deputy. The Deputy successfully deployed spike strips on Route 237 near Route 33 toward Orleans County, causing operator to lose control of the vehicle after the tires on the runaway vehicle began to break apart. The vehicle came to a stop and two occupants fled on foot into the woods. A third occupant in the backseat was immediately taken into custody by the Sheriff’s Deputy. ECO Fuerch deployed K9 Hadley to track and locate the men who fled. The first subject as found, surrendered, and was taken into custody. The second subject was located in the garage of a nearby residence where he was taken into custody. The vehicle had switched plates and was reported stolen out of the city of Rochester. The vehicle occupants had several outstanding warrants and illegal drugs were found inside the stolen vehicle. The men are facing a host of charges, including criminal possession of stolen property and unlawfully fleeing police. This case is especially noteworthy as K9 Handley recently underwent lifesaving emergency surgery just two months ago.
Bass Dinner for Rehabbing Eagles
On Dec. 4, ECOs Pabes and Kochanowski conducted a boat patrol of Jones Inlet, checking anglers returning from fishing offshore. The ECOs issued multiple citations for oversized striped bass, excess striped bass, and no marine registry. Officers seized 10 illegal fish, four of which were oversized. The Officers donated all confiscated fish to a local wildlife rehabilitator with eagles to feed.