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From the February 2008 Conservationist

On Patrol standing image

On Patrol

By ECO Lt. Ken Didion and Forest Ranger Chris Liebelt

Fowling Up the Hunting-Erie County

ECO Mark Mazurkiewicz investigated a hunter harassment complaint by two hunters alleging that an Eden area man had interfered with their lawful waterfowl hunting activities. Responding to the complaint, ECO Mazurkiewicz joined the two hunters in their attempt to hunt Canada geese. Their allegations proved to be accurate. Soon after the hunters shot, a nearby homeowner came out of his residence with a chainsaw. As had been reported, the man started his chainsaw, held it over his head, revved it up, and start yelling as he walked toward the edge of the pond. The chainsaw was turned off as soon as an incoming flock of Canada geese flew away. The act was repeated when another flock attempted to land. As ECO Mazurkiewicz had previously warned the homeowner after a similar complaint, in this incident, the man was charged with interfering with the lawful taking of wildlife. The matter is pending in the Town of Eden Court.

Preparation Pays Off-Essex County

New York State Police in Ray Brook contacted forest rangers
to report an overdue hiker in the Adirondack High Peaks.
Wisely, the lost hiker-Todd Williams-had left his hiking
itinerary with his wife before he left on his trip. Using this
information, his vehicle was located by the State Police in the
parking lot of the trail system. While hiking, Mr. Williams was
confronted with a heavy snow storm and lost the trail. Led
by Ranger Charlie Platt, rangers began searching trails along
his intended route. Searchers eventually heard a Mayday call
from Mr. Williams on a two-way radio less than a half mile
from his location. The search team found him in good physical
condition and he was evacuated by snowmobile.

Hang Glider Accident-Greene County

A 911 call originating from a hiker in the Windham High
Peak Wild Forest reported that a hang glider had crashed
near the Escarpment Trail. Two individuals were badly hurt
and needed help. Rangers responded to the remote area
and determined a helicopter evacuation was necessary.
Rangers established a helicopter landing zone and secured
helicopters for the mission. Forest rangers, led by Ranger
Jeff Breigle, hiked three miles to the crash site and, with
the assistance of several volunteers, packaged the injured
subjects into rescue litters for evacuation. The individuals
were flown to Albany Medical Center for emergency care.

Colder than Cold-Chenango County

In mid-January, ECO Brett Armstrong and his K9 partner,
Nitro, were called to assist the Chenango County Sheriff
Office's search for a missing person. A 76-year-old man had
not been seen since the previous evening, and mid-teen
overnight temperatures were cause for concern.

After scenting some of the missing man's belongings, K9
Nitro led ECO Armstrong across his lawn and down a deer
trail. After some distance, Nitro passed a "Y" in the trail and
lost the track. The K9 backtracked to the trail intersection and
picked up the scent on the other trail. About 30 yards down
the path, they found the missing man, almost a quarter mile
from his home. The man was on his back, barefoot and cold
to the touch, but alive. Armstrong quickly contacted the other
searchers and removed his coat and wrapped it around the
hypothermic man's torso. Forest Ranger Prunoske and the
other searchers arrived a few minutes later and removed the
man by stretcher to a waiting ambulance.

At the hospital, the man's core body temperature was
measured at less than 84 degrees Fahrenheit. He went
into full cardiac arrest, but doctor's resuscitated him with a
defibrillator. Although his future looked grim, the man has
since recovered from his ordeal, and has expressed his great
appreciation to ECO Armstrong, K9 Nitro and all involved in
the rescue.

Photo: Carl Heilman