More than 200 people were charged with about 550 deer-hunting violations during the most recent big-game season in the region that includes Otsego, Delaware and Schoharie counties, the New York state Department of Environmental Conservation said Monday.
“The DEC vigorously pursues individuals who violate the principle of fair chase and undertake illegal hunting practices,” said Gene Kelly, regional director in the DEC’s nine-county Region 4. “Night-time poaching and hunting in close proximity to dwellings or highways endangers the public and offenders will be prosecuted.”
The DEC said 242 of the charges were misdemeanors and included 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 to hunt deer at night. These charges carry potential fines of up to $2,000 and up to a year in jail, the DEC said in a media release.
Environmental conservation officers also wrote tickets for trespassing, hunting over bait, feeding deer, possessing the tags of another, illegally transporting deer of another without a consignment tag, hunting without a license and possessing an untagged deer.
Each violation carries a fine of up to $250 and up to 15 days in jail.
Region 4 officials also investigated three hunter-related shooting incidents that 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.
The region also includes Albany, Columbia, Greene, Montgomery, Rensselaer and Schenectady counties. The regular big-game season ended Dec. 9 in the region, and the late bowhunting and muzzle-loading seasons ended Dec. 18.