DEC: Deer poacher in city of Utica

UTICA, NY — On Oct. 29, Environmental Conservation Officer Jeff Hull received a rare deer hunting complaint in the city of Utica. The complainant stated they had observed a deer in a resident’s driveway with an arrow protruding from it. ECO Hull responded to the residence, where he observed tufts of deer hair in the driveway. When the homeowner was questioned, he claimed to have shot an injured buck in his backyard using a bow. With the houses on both sides well within the 150-foot regulated distance for discharging a bow, ECO Hull asked to see the deer. The subject brought ECO Hull to his basement where the hindquarters were hanging. When asked where the head of the buck was, the subject directed ECO Hull to a freezer, where there was an untagged 7-point deer head and several more packages of soft, not yet frozen meat. The officer spotted an additional dozen packages of meat labeled “10/05/2018.” The subject quickly admitted to shooting a doe on Oct. 5, which he had not tagged or reported. The 7-point buck was actually shot the previous night at 8 p.m., more than two hours after legal hunting hours. Using his flood light, the poacher observed the healthy deer eating from a pile of corn behind his house and shot it with a bow from a bedroom window. The man was charged with the misdemeanors of taking wildlife except as permitted, taking a deer outside of permitted hunting hours, and taking a deer with use of an artificial light. The subject was also charged with hunting over bait, two counts of failure to tag deer as required, failure to report harvest, and discharging a bow within 150 feet of a dwelling. Sixteen packages of venison, the 7-point deer head, and the subject’s bow were all seized as evidence. He is due in court in December and will also face possible hunting license revocation.