More than 200 people were charged with more than 550 deer-hunting violations during the southern zone big-game season, according to Regional Director Gene Kelly.
The arrests were made by Environmental Conservation Officers with the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation Region 4.
“DEC vigorously pursues individuals who violate the principle of fair chase and undertake illegal hunting practices,” said Kelly in a release from the DEC. “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 hotline at 1-877-457-5680.”
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 the following 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 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.