ALBANY—State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Region 4 Environmental Conservation Officers (ECOs) charged more than 200 people with more than 550 deer-hunting violations during the southern zone big game season, according to a press release from Regional Director Gene Kelly.
“DEC vigorously pursues individuals who violate the principle of fair chase and undertake illegal hunting practices. Night-time poaching and hunting in close proximity to dwellings or highways endangers the public, and offenders will be prosecuted. We encourage anyone with information about potential illegal hunting practices or other environmental crimes to contact our 24-hour dispatch hot line at 1-877-457-5680,” Mr. Kelly said in the release.
Of these charges, 242 were misdemeanors and include the illegal killing of 100 deer, discharging firearms within 500 feet of dwellings, shooting across roadways, possessing loaded firearms in vehicles, taking deer during the bow season without a license and using spotlights at night to hunt deer. These charges carry potential fines of up to $2,000 and up to one year in jail.
Other tickets were written for violations: trespassing, hunting over bait, feeding deer, possessing the tags of another, illegally transporting the deer of another without a consignment tag, hunting without a license and possessing an untagged deer. Violations carry a fine of up to $250 and up to 15 days in jail.
Region 4’s Bureau of Environmental Crimes Investigators and ECOs investigated three hunter-related shooting incidents which resulted in injuries. One defendant was charged with criminal possession of a weapon and one defendant was charged with assault, both felonies. The other defendant was charged with a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, a misdemeanor.
Following is a list of those who face more serious charges in Columbia County:
*Donald Honour, Jr., 52, of Ancramdale was charged with the misdemeanors of possessing a loaded firearm in a vehicle and taking over the limit of deer and the violation of failure to properly tag a deer
*Michael H. Barton, 44, of Ancramdale was charged with the violation of failure to properly tag three deer
*Arnold Rothvoss, 46, of Ancramdale was charged with the misdemeanor of taking deer with the aid of an artificial light and with the violation of hunting deer over a bait pile.
*Michael J. Layton, 25, of Chatham was charged with the misdemeanors of possessing a loaded firearm in a vehicle and discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling.
*Ronald F. Miller, 66, of Hudson was charged with the misdemeanor of possessing a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle
*William Hosier, 26, of Chester, MA, was charged with the misdemeanors of discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling, taking a doe deer outside of a specified unit and making a false statement when applying for a license
*Daryl Sitter, 41, of Chester, MA, was charged with the misdemeanors of discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling and making a false statement when applying for a license.
Both Mr. Hosier and Mr. Sitter purchased resident New York State hunting licenses while residing outside of New York State.