New York Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – March 25, 2022

Deer Rescued from Icy Waters
(Suffolk County)

While on patrol recently in Suffolk County, ECO Della Rocco heard a call on the radio about a deer that had fallen through the ice off Smith Point in the town of Mastic. Officer Della Rocco responded to the location with members of the Suffolk County Marine Bureau and Suffolk County Park Rangers. Utilizing ice rescue training, the ECO assisted Suffolk County Marine in rescuing the deer from the ice. Once back on shore, ECO Della Rocco and local wildlife rescue personnel revived the deer using blankets and a warm vehicle. The deer was brought to a wildlife rehabilitator for monitoring and released the next morning, alive and well.

Fishing Tournament Incident
(Sullivan County)

On Feb. 20, ECOs Wood, Doroski, and Johnson were patrolling the annual “King of the Ice” fishing contest on White Lake in Sullivan County when they received a report that an ATV had broken through the ice. The Officers responded and found that the two ATV riders had already been rescued without injury. The riders inadvertently rode into open water near a bubbler, which is typically used to keep ice from forming/damaging docks and boat houses. The ECOs stayed on scene to monitor recovery of the ATV and relay information to DEC Spill Responders. No environmental impacts were reported from the incident.

Stuck on the Ice
(Warren County)

On Feb. 22 at 12:30 p.m., Ray Brook Dispatch requested Forest Ranger assistance for a subject stranded on the ice in the Mother Bunch Islands area of Lake George. The 52-year-old from Florida was on an ATV and struck a heave in the ice, trapping the ATV. Rangers Kabrehl, Perryman, and Quinn, and Environmental Conservation Police Officer (ECO) LaPoint responded on an airboat. With 50-degree temperatures and rain, the ice was not safe for a snowmobile or ATV. Rangers brought the subject to safety and worked with ECO LaPoint to attempt to remove the ATV. The ATV was stuck too deep in the ice, so the responders attached ice buoys and a floating marker so they could return later when conditions were better to retrieve the machine.

Map and Compass Training
Rensselaer County)

On Feb. 18, Forest Ranger Jackson led a three-hour Map and Compass training session at the Capital District Sportsman Center in the town of Grafton. Nineteen people attended to learn how to read a topographical map, determine distances, plot points on a map, set an azimuth, and properly navigate using an azimuth with a compass. Students also learned how to be better prepared in the backcountry. Forest Rangers utilize these skills in search and rescue missions, wildland firefighting, and while navigating the backcountry on patrol.

Striped Bass Details
(Westchester, Rockland, Orange, and Putnam Counties) 

On Feb. 12, ECOs Tompkins, Thibodeau, and Franz conducted a fishing enforcement detail in Westchester County prioritizing anglers taking out-of-season striped bass. The Officers patrolled Oscawana Island Park in the town of Cortlandt and Croton Point Park in the village of Croton-on-Hudson. During the detail, ECOs observed several anglers taking and keeping out-of-season fish. The ECOs issued 17 citations for violations including possessing out-of-season fish and fishing without a valid license. The Officers seized 30 striped bass from violators and released many of the fish back into the Hudson River. The rest of the fish were donated to a local wolf conservation center On Feb. 21, ECOs in Orange, Rockland, Westchester, and Putnam counties conducted a joint detail along the Hudson River to stop illegal striped bass activity. Officers wrote a total of 16 summonses and discovered 33 out-of-season striped bass. The striped bass season runs from April 1 to Nov. 30 on the Hudson River. In 2015, New York reduced harvest due to a decline in the coastal spawning stock, resulting in a slot limit of 18 to 28 inches in length for the Hudson River. Striped bass is an ecologically, recreationally, and economically important migratory fish species . The Hudson River acts as a nursery for newly hatched young bass. Striped bass seized during the detail were returned to the water or donated to the Wolf Conservancy in Westchester County.

Wilderness Rescue
(Cattaraugus County)

 On March 5 at 1:30 p.m., Cattaraugus 911 requested Forest Ranger assistance in locating a man with a disability in a vehicle stuck on an unknown seasonal road. Approximately one-half hour later, Ranger Sprague located the 66-year-old from Little Valley lying in the snow with an unstable lower leg injury near Cattaraugus State Forest. Ranger Sprague provided a hypowrap to keep the subject warm and comfortable until the Cattaraugus Fire Department arrived with its tracked UTV. The subject was transported by ambulance to Erie County Medical Center. Resources were clear of the scene at 3 p.m.

Potential CWD Import Thwarted
(Sullivan County)

On Feb. 17, ECO Walraven conducted a traffic stop after observing a vehicle with a deer carcass attached to the roof. During the interview, the driver of the vehicle admitted to picking up the carcass in Pennsylvania for transport to New York City. Officer Walraven educated the driver about Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) and informed him it is prohibited to return with whole carcasses or intact heads of deer, elk, moose, or caribou from outside of New York State. ECO Walraven ticketed the driver, seized the carcass, and transported it to the regional DEC Bureau of Wildlife Office. CWD is an untreatable and fatal brain and nervous system disease found in deer, elk, and moose. For more information on CWD visit DEC’s website at

Brush Burn Ban

 From March 16 through May 14, New York’s annual statewide ban prohibiting brush burning is in effect. Since 2009, DEC has enforced the ban to prevent wildfires and protect communities during heightened conditions for wildfires each spring. Backyard fire pits and campfires less than three feet in height and four feet in length, width, or diameter are allowed. Small cooking fires are allowed, but only charcoal or dry, clean, untreated, or unpainted wood can be burned. People should never leave these or any fires unattended and must extinguish them. Burning garbage or leaves is prohibited year-round

Categories: Cuffs & Collars

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *