New York Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – May 6, 2022
Out-of-Season Striped Bass Busters (New York City Counties)
The weekend of April 2 and 3 proved to be busy for ECOs in Region 2 conducting boat patrols with the U.S. Coast Guard in Raritan and Jamaica bays. Officers checked several recreational and charter boats and seized 36 out-of-season striped bass. ECOs Milliron and Michalet responded to an evening poaching complaint in Bronx County, which resulted in 37 out-of-season striped bass. In total, 16 tickets were issued for Environmental Conservation Law violations including possession of undersized striped bass and failure to release fish with undue harm. Arraignment dates are set for mid-April in Richmond and Bronx counties.
Venison Donation for Seniors (Montgomery County)
On April 6, ECOs Valenty and Bush participated in the annual Venison for Seniors of Montgomery County donation program. The program, in conjunction with ‘Hunters Feeding the Hungry,’ was initiated by local sportsman Tom Georgia and delivers donated venison to resident seniors and soldiers. This year, the group donated 450 pounds of venison to approximately 50 residents with the help of volunteers from area police departments. ECOs and other law enforcement Officers from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, city of Amsterdam, and the villages of St. Johnsville, Ft. Plain, and Canajoharie participated in the donation delivery.
Stuck in the Mud
Public Assistance: On April 13 at 2:45 p.m., Forest Rangers Krulish and Thaine received a report of two anglers stranded in a pickup truck on Allen Lake State Forest. Rangers spoke to the 68- and 72-year-olds and determined they were following GPS directions after a fishing trip and ended up on an abandoned road, unable to turn around. Because one of the subjects needed their medication, which was back at their camp, Rangers walked in and escorted the subjects back to their camp. A tow truck with specialized off-road equipment arrived at 9:15 p.m. to assist the stuck vehicle and resources were clear by 10 p.m.
(Erie and Chautauqua Counties)
On March 22, ECO Damrath received a call from a man in the town of Amherst claiming he had recently rescued an alligator from a bad home and needed assistance rehoming it. However, when questioned, the subject’s rescue tale fell apart and he admitted to buying the alligator to keep as a pet. Recognizing a 3.5-foot alligator is too dangerous and difficult to care for, the owner attempted to sell it without success. ECO Damrath charged the man with unlawfully possessing the animal and the alligator was turned over to a permitted handler. After a few days, ECOs Damrath, Dougherty, and Koepf tracked down the original seller of the alligator in the city of Dunkirk, Chautauqua County, and charged the individual with unlawfully possessing an alligator. The investigation is ongoing, with additional charges pending.
On April 7 and 8, Forest Rangers Cowart, Jahn, Kreft, and Rusher led a land navigation course for 27 Wallkill Corrections Emergency Response Team (C.E.R.T.) members from Shawangunk and Wallkill correctional facilities. Rangers taught terrain analysis, map reading, and compass skills and conducted a field exercise to practice these techniques. C.E.R.T. handles emergency situations in correctional facilities and are sometimes activated to assist Rangers with search missions in the field.
On April 9, Forest Rangers patrolled Littlejohn Wildlife Management Area (WMA) to curb illegal ATV activity connected to an event in Lewis County that previously resulted in damage when ATVs illegally traveled through the WMA. Rangers encountered approximately 30 ATVs and issued 21 tickets for illegal ATV operation on WMA roadways. One ticket was issued for an unregistered ATV. Several ATV operators were turned away before they could enter the WMA.
K9 Benny Visits Girl Scouts
(St. Lawrence County)
On April 2, ECO Schneller and his partner K9 Benny met with 21 Daisy Girl Scouts from Troop #50233 at Heuvelton Central School. ECO Schneller explained his job and assignment to the DLE K9 unit with Benny, a highly trained police dog. The Officer demonstrated K9 Benny’s detection capabilities, including powder and venison detection, to the Girl Scouts. ECO Schneller also answered questions from the troop before everyone treated themselves to Girl Scout cookies.
Injured Red-Tailed Hawk
On April 5, Suffolk County Police requested assistance with an injured bird of prey blocking the roadway. ECO DeRose responded and found a red-tailed hawk standing in the roadway, unable to gain height when attempting to fly. ECO DeRose was able to corral the hawk and safely capture it without causing further injury. ECO DeRose transported the hawk to a local wildlife rehabilitator who examined the bird and determined it had a laceration under one of its wings from an apparent car strike, but no broken bones. Rehabilitators cleaned the hawk, closed the laceration, and kept it for observation.