From the October 2013 Conservationist
Real Stories from Conservation Officers and Forest Rangers in the field
By ECO Lt. Tom Caifa and Forest Ranger Capt. Stephen Scherry
Night Rescue-Essex County
ECO Steven Stubing was at his camp near Eagle Lake in the Town of Ticonderoga when he was awakened by a loud noise at 1:00 a.m. Suspecting a vehicle accident, he grabbed a flashlight and his cell phone, and went seeking the source. ECO Stubing found a tractor-trailer upside down in the lake with its cab almost completely underwater. The driver was conscious, but was trapped inside the cab with only a small amount of air. Stubing attempted to open the doors, but they were badly damaged and wouldn't open. Stubing called for help and remained in the water to keep the driver calm until emergency responders arrived. A short time later, responders were able to free the driver before the cab submerged completely. The driver was taken to the hospital with only minor injuries. Stubing also assisted with containment of the petroleum spill from the truck until DEC Spill Response staff arrived.
Just Watching-Chenango County
The day before bow season opened, ECOs Brett Armstrong and Jamie Powers responded to a deer-baiting complaint in the Town of Guilford. Shortly before sunset, they arrived at a seasonal camp with a truck parked in the driveway. In the back of the truck were two bags of corn and a bag of deer feed. Armstrong and Powers began scouring the 120-acre property looking for potential baiting spots. Eventually, they found a man dressed in camouflage in a tree stand. He had a bow in hand and broadhead-tipped arrows. The tree stand overlooked a fresh corn pile. Surprised to see the ECOs, the man claimed he wasn't going to shoot any deer, just watch them. When asked about the bow and arrows, he finally confessed and was charged with hunting deer out of season and over bait.
Marijuana Misfits-Chautauqua County
While patrolling an area of Mount Pleasant State Forest, Ranger David Pachan came upon an unoccupied vehicle along the roadside. It aroused his suspicion, especially since it was raining heavily. Looking inside the vehicle, Ranger Pachan spotted a container of plant fertilizer. He then searched the surrounding area but found nothing, so decided to wait down the road in case anybody exited the woods. A short time later, the vehicle's lights came on, and Ranger Pachan returned to the vehicle. There was still no one inside. However, while searching the area a second time, he found two subjects hiding. During questioning, they admitted to having marijuana plants and led Ranger Pachan to two buckets containing three plants each. While arresting the subjects, he also found a small plastic bag of marijuana. Both subjects were charged with unlawful growing of Cannabis and unlawful possession of marijuana.
ASK THE ECO
Q: I have taken a deer, and would like to take its carcass to a meat processor and its head to a taxidermist. Which part of the deer should the tag go on?
A: The tag must remain with the carcass. When transporting the carcass, you must not destroy evidence of the deer's sex, and you must attach a tag with the name and address of the taxidermist handling the head. You are required to create an additional tag with your signature, address and license number, the name and address of the taxidermist and, if it's a male deer, the number of points on each antler, and attach it to the deer's head.