The Law Enforcement Division of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) enforces the 71 chapters of the New York State Environmental Conservation Law, protecting fish and wildlife and preserving environmental quality throughout New York State. In 2020, 298 Environmental Protection Police officers and investigators across the state responded to 29,673 calls and worked on cases that resulted in 11,952 tickets or arrests for crimes ranging from poaching of deer to dumping solid waste, illegal mining, the black market pet trade and excesses. emissions violations.
• Sub sandwich leads to illegal deer charges (St. Lawrence County) — On November 9, ECO Atwood received a report of a possible deer theft in the town of Edwards. Once at the scene, the officer recovered a discarded sub sandwich and a CCTV photo of a suspicious vehicle. ECO Atwood then drove to a local store that sells sandwiches and obtained video identifying the vehicle and the suspects. The ECO confronted the suspects with the evidence and both individuals confessed to illegally taking a deer.
• Illegal hunting from an ATV (Chautauqua County) – On November 21, ECOs Budniewski and Kinney received a complaint regarding an individual hunting from an ATV in the town of Ellery. After learning where the suspect would be coming out of the woods, the ECOs waited in a hidden location. Shortly after, the suspect walked out with a deer, was questioned by officers, and admitted to shooting the deer from his ATV. ECO issued tickets to the hunter for capturing an illegal deer, possessing a loaded firearm on a motor vehicle, using a motor vehicle to capture wildlife, and possessing an untagged deer. A month later, the suspect appeared in court and paid over $700 in civil fines and faces the revocation of his hunting privileges for up to five years.
• Hunting application detail (Niagara County) – Early in the afternoon of Nov. 28 in the town of Royalton, ECOs Scheer, Wolgast, Holzle, Fonda, Godson, Fuerch and K-9 Handley conducted a week-long enforcement investigation in the Southern Area Regular Big Game Season. Officers observed a few violations of the Environmental Conservation Act during the detail, including three firearms loaded into motor vehicles, two untagged deer and an individual n not having reported a deer harvest within seven days. ECOs were pleased that the majority of hunters complied with all hunting regulations while in the field and officers were impressed with the harvests and hunter stories.
• Tracks in the snow lead to suspects in illegal deer capture (St. Lawrence County) – On November 29, ECO Jackson was patrolling an area of the town of Lorraine known for deer heists. The officer observed a searchlight in a field a short distance from his location and moments later heard a single shot ring out from the same area. ECO Jackson rushed to the field, but the shooter took off into the woods. Lt. Bartoszewski responded to help ECO Jackson track down the culprits and identified two separate sets of shoe prints in the freshly fallen snow. They found a dead deer in the field. Officers followed the leads across the field and into a swamp where they emerged from knee-deep water to a road where the suspects were likely picked up by a vehicle. ECO Jackson, Lt. Bartoszewski, and Investigator Malone returned to the scene over the next few days. After questioning suspected poachers, two individuals confessed. Officers seized the weapon used in the incident and issued tickets to the shooter for illegally taking protected wildlife, taking white-tailed deer using artificial light, and hunting during closed hours. The case is pending before the Court of the City of Lorraine.
• Offense in Pennsylvania (Chautauqua County) – On December 14, while checking several deer processors in Chautauqua County, ECO Kinney encountered a hunter who had not reported his deer harvest. After speaking to the hunter, Constable Kinney learned that the subject had a Resident Big Game Hunting License despite living in Pennsylvania. ECO Kinney cited the hunter for taking an illegal deer, making a false statement when applying for a permit, and being a non-resident hunting without a valid permit during archery season. A week later, the man paid a civil penalty of $550 for the violations.