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New York Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – December 2, 2022

Jacklighting Poacher Caught Red-Handed (Ulster County)

On Oct. 23, ECO Walraven was patrolling local farm fields at night in the town of Wawarsing looking for poachers when he observed a pickup truck driving slowly by a field, shining a spotlight. From his position, Officer Walraven saw the poacher exit his vehicle and shine the spotlight on a group of deer close to the road before using a crossbow to shoot at the deer. When ECO Walraven pulled the man over, the subject admitted the crime, and he was charged with using a spotlight while in possession of an unsecured crossbow, attempting to take wildlife with the aid of a motor vehicle, discharging a crossbow on a public highway, attempting to take deer during closed hours, failing to carry a hunting license, attempting to take deer with an illegal implement, hunting deer with an artificial light, and attempting to unlawfully take protected wildlife. ECO Walraven’s investigation determined the poacher likely missed his intended target. All tickets issued are returnable to the Town of Wawarsing Court.

Illegal Deer Hunting
(Nassau County)

On Oct. 18, following a multi-day investigation, ECO Kochanowski identified a subject hunting deer in Nassau County, which is closed to deer hunting. Officer Kochanowski determined the subject had unlawfully hunted over a pre-established bait pile of corn. The ECO seized the hunter’s bow, trail camera, and arrows, and issued the subject tickets for hunting over a pre-established bait pile, hunting during a closed season, failing to wear a backtag in the Southern Zone, failing to carry tags and a license, and hunting deer with barbed broadheads. The hunter agreed to a consent order the next day and paid a civil penalty of $500.

Women In Law Enforcement Conference (Monroe County)

On Oct. 26, DEC Division of Law Enforcement Director Karen Przyklek, along with other division members, attended the 11th annual New York Women in Law Enforcement training conference in Fairport. Conference attendees had the opportunity to network with hundreds of other women from various law enforcement agencies around New York State and discussed some of the issues facing women in law enforcement today, including recruitment and retention.

eam Effort to Find Undersized Blackfish (Suffolk County)

On Oct. 17, Dispatch alerted ECOs in Suffolk County to anglers at Robert Moses State Park keeping undersized fish. ECOs Cacciola, Dickson, and Small arrived on scene where they received even more complaints about the illegal activity. The Officers canvased the heavily populated area and checked several anglers to ensure compliance. After numerous checks, the ECOs discovered unlawfully possessed fish in some vehicles returning from the beach, as well as with visitors returning to the parking lots. All told, the responding Officers found several violations including 14 undersized blackfish and individuals fishing without valid Marine Registries.

ENCON/U.S. Coast Guard Joint Effort (Suffolk County)

On Oct. 21, Lieutenant Reilly received a complaint about a fishing boat keeping undersized blackfish in the Fire Island Inlet. Lt. Reilly requested ECO DeRose head out to try and locate the vessel. As Officer DeRose approached the area, he contacted the U.S. Coast Guard station in Fire Island for assistance. When Officers identified the vessel and tried to pull up alongside it, the vessel took off, attempting to get away. Anglers on board began dumping fish back into the water despite ECO DeRose’s repeated commands to stop. Once on board, Officer DeRose and members of the U.S. Coast Guard found undersized fish hidden in different locations on the boat. After questioning the six people on board, the Officer issued 11 tickets for violations including possession of undersized blackfish, over the daily limit of blackfish, failure to possess a valid Marine Registry, and a misdemeanor charge for dumping upon signal to stop. All tickets are returnable to Suffolk County First District Court. 

Deer Entanglement
(Suffolk County)

On Oct. 26, ECOs Perkins and Kaufherr arrived in East Islip to investigate a complaint of two adult male deer entangled by the antlers in a piece of netting. Upon arrival, the ECOs discovered one deer deceased and the other healthy, but unable to break free from the netting. After brief deliberation, the ECOs executed a plan to rescue the live deer. ECO Kaufherr successfully captured one of the antlers of the live deer with a catch pole and once controlled, Officer Perkins moved in and grabbed the deer by the antlers, holding it down while he used a multi-tool with shears to cut lose the netting. The deer was quickly liberated from the net and ran into the woods with no sign of injury.

Evening Striped Bass Complaint (Richmond County)

On Oct. 27, ECO Traynor and Lieutenant Auguscinski responded to a complaint of two men taking striped bass over the limit. Upon arrival, the Officers observed two anglers catching and hiding fish in a garbage bag in nearby bushes. The ECOs waited patiently until the two men packed up and brought the fish back to their car. The Officers discovered a total of 11 striped bass and ticketed the anglers for failure to carry a marine registry and possession of over the daily limit of one striped bass per day from waters of the marine district, returnable to Richmond County Court.

2022 Youth Pheasant Hunt
(Genesee County)

On Oct. 8, ECOs Holzle, Koepf, and Rauscher assisted with a youth hunt hosted by Pheasants on the Flats in Batavia. The youth hunters enjoyed the unique opportunity to head afield with experienced hunters and dog handlers. The ECOs taught participants about upland game bird hunting tactics, safe firearm handling, and hunting ethics.

The Donut Hole
(Sullivan County)

On Oct. 2, ECOs Parker and Doroski completed a bear baiting investigation in the town of Forestburgh. Utilizing intelligence gathered by Investigators with DEC’s Bureau of Environmental Crime Investigations, ECOs identified an area of State land potentially being baited for bears. After hiking many miles over several days, ECOs located two hunting locations on the ridge that appeared to be baited, as the earth near the hunting stands and blinds was freshly disturbed. ECOs set out just as daylight broke and located an individual bowhunting for bear over bait in one of the suspected stands. The bait consisted of donuts placed in trees, smeared on tree bark, and placed in tree knots. The hunter initially claimed the donuts, including the large package of donuts in his backpack, were for his own consumption and that he had simply dropped the others. ECOs ticketed the hunter for hunting bear with the aid of bait, failure to display a backtag, injuring trees on State land, littering on State land, failing to label stands/blinds with a name/address, and several other State land offenses. ECOs were assisted by Lt. Buckley who helped process the individual and evidence

Missing Man Found Stealing Ginseng
(Delaware County)

A Delaware County man, reported missing over the summer, may not have wanted to be found. Reported missing on Aug. 31 after failing to return home, multiple law enforcement agencies searched for the man and his vehicle. On Sept. 1, a friend of the missing man spotted the vehicle on a private logging road in the town of Middletown. A Delaware County Sherriff’s Office K9 tracked and located the missing person in good health, harvesting ginseng in a wooded area several hundred yards up the mountain from his vehicle. The man possessed two one-gallon bags of freshly harvested American ginseng. ECO Woodin interviewed the subject to determine if he had permission to harvest on the private property. While the man claimed he received permission years ago, the landowners told ECO Woodin they had not given permission to harvest ginseng on the property. The ECO seized the two bags totaling 41 harvested ginseng roots and charged the man with harvesting ginseng without landowner permission, trespassing, and petit larceny, returnable to the Town of Middletown Court. New York’s ginseng program and laws exists to ensure the survival of the species in the wild, compliance with all federal and international laws and regulations, and the viability of New York ginseng as a valuable forest product. Wild ginseng can only be collected from Sept. 1 – Nov. 30. ECO Woodin with seized ginseng in Delaware County 

Fishing Derby and Fall Festival
(Nassau County)

On Oct. 15, ECOs Pabes and Dickson assisted DEC Fisheries employees with the annual ‘I FISH NY’ Fall Fishing Festival at Hempstead Lake State Park in Nassau County. Fisheries personnel provided participants with rods, reels, and bait, while ECOs patrolled the lake assisting anglers with their catch, fish identification, and freshwater fishing regulations. The Officers also monitored a fish cleaning station set up for use by successful anglers. Nearly a thousand people attended the event. 

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