CO Applegate, Lieutenant Cole and Deputy Pitts responded to Earn
-A-Buck complaints in Clinton and Tewksbury Townships in Hunterdon
County. In each incident, the officers apprehended the hunter
in the field with the antlered deer. Additional complaints were
signed for hunting without a permit and possession of a loaded
firearm within 450 feet of a building.
CO Nestel responded to a call from the Ogdensburg Police Department
in Sussex County on the last day of the Six-Day Firearm Season.
The call involved a falconer hunting rabbits during the closed
season. The bird killed a pet duck at a residence in the town.
The appropriate complaint was signed for the closed season violation
with the understanding that restitution would be made.
CO Panico responded to an after hours complaint in High Bridge
Boro in Hunterdon County, involving a bow hunter who had shot
a deer from a stand within sixty-six feet of an apartment complex.
The hunter waited until after dark to retrieve the deer and was
observed by the complainant. Complaints were signed for the 450
violation and failure to tag deer immediately upon killing.
Lieutenant Fletcher, CO Hutchinson and Deputies Struble, Sutton
and Schaublin investigated a complaint of individuals in the Newfoundland
area of Passaic County, hunting deer with firearms on Thanksgiving
Day. The three hunters were apprehended in the field and complaints
were signed for hunting without license, hunting deer without
hunter orange garment, illegal missiles and hunting deer closed
CO Kuechler investigated a report of a resident of West New York
in Hudson County having been bitten by a rattlesnake. It was determined
that the individual had possessed three rattlesnakes in his apartment
and was bitten while handling one of them. Three complaints were
signed for possession of the potentially dangerous wildlife.
CO Williamson and Deputy Hosty apprehended two hunters during
the Six-Day Firearm Deer Season hunting deer with the aid of a
motor vehicle. The individuals possessed uncased and loaded firearms
in the vehicle as they drove through a wooded area in Morris County.
The appropriate complaints were signed.
CO Paul and Lieutenant Cole responded to a Warren Township residence,
following a complaint of shots fired the previous evening. The
officers found an eight point buck hanging at the location, which
had been killed with a .22 caliber rifle. The appropriate complaints
CO Kuechler, CO Applegate and Lieutenant Cole investigated a complaint
of an antlerless deer killed illegally in DMZ 4 on the opening
day of the Six-Day Firearm Season. CO Kuechler found blood in
the trunk of the shooter’s vehicle returning to his residence
in Linden in Union County. The officer determined that another
hunter with a DMZ 12 Permit had registered the deer. Complaints
were signed for killing an antlerless deer during closed season,
untagged/unregistered deer and registering a deer under false
Captain Cussen apprehended two hunters in Liberty Township in
Warren County on the opening day of the Six-Day Firearm Season.
One individual had killed an antlerless deer with a permit for
another DMZ and failed to tag the deer. The other hunter was found
in possession of an antlerless deer without a valid permit. CO
Panico signed the appropriate complaints.
CO Applegate and Deputy Pitts apprehended an individual attempting
to drive deer from a field using an ATV after the close of legal
shooting hours. Three other hunters, serving as standers for the
deer drive, were found in possession of loaded firearms. Complaints
were signed for the after hours violation as well as a complaint
for the ATV driver for having an uncased firearm on a motor vehicle.
Central Region Highlights
CO Martiak and DCO Wren observed a motor vehicle parked along
Jerney Mill Rd. that they recognized as belonging to someone under
investigation last year for hunting turkey out of season and baiting.
The officers decided to park down the road and observed the vehicle.
Expecting to see a flashlight shining in the woods as the hunter
made his way back to his vehicle, the officers were surprised
when the vehicle’s headlights came on suddenly and the truck
pulled out onto the road. They made a motor vehicle stop on the
truck. After questioning, the driver admitted that he didn’t
have a hunting license, had never in fact taken a hunter education
course and did not possess a bow permit. The appropriate summonses
CO McManus and DCO Tindall were investigating an ongoing complaint
on Poor Farm Rd. in Hopewell Township during the six-day firearm
season when they received a call regarding a 450’ complaint
from a residence on Poor Farm Rd. It turned out to be the residence
across the street. The officers attempted to reach the complainant,
but he had called in the complaint from work. The complainant
stated that he had a problem with a stand too close to his house,
but he wasn’t sure if the hunter was there or not. The officers
pulled into the driveway and could see a hunter in the illegal
stand. The hunter was also not wearing any orange. The appropriate
summonses were issued.
CO O’Rourke was patrolling on opening day of six-day firearm
season along with DCO DePierro when he received a call from the
CRO regarding illegal gun hunting at the Yardville Correction
property in Chesterfield. According to the complainant, the hunters
were taking off their orange and had already taken does. They
responded and located three hunters. One hunter had taken two
bucks, neither of which were tagged. Another hunter had taken
two does, but did not have a shotgun permit and was not wearing
orange. The third hunter didn’t have any deer, but was not
wearing orange. The appropriate summonses were issued.
On the Wednesday of six-day firearm season, CO O’Rourke
was patrolling with DCO Simons when they came across a group of
eight hunters known to Officer O’Rourke from previous violations.
The group had three untagged does and did not have any shotgun
permits. One of the hunters came out of the woods with a loaded
firearm after legal hours and another hunter was known to be on
the revocation list. The appropriate summonses were issued.
During the six-day firearms deer season, CO Szulecki working with
the assistance of Lt. Chicketano and Officer Fittin apprehended
a total of fifteen individuals for various hunting violations
which included: hunting within 450 ft of a building; illegal possession
of deer; trespassing; hunt no orange and hunt after hours.
CO Mutone interviewed an individual that was stopped by Ocean
Twp Police for spotlighting in a cemetery within their municipality.
During the motor vehicle stop, the officer noticed a portable
spotlight and a cased shotgun lying on the front seat between
two male subjects. The officer was suddenly called away on an
emergency, but before leaving the scene he noticed a deer in the
back of the truck, but had no time to investigate. With only minimal
information available, Officer Mutone was able to obtain a written
statement from the subject implicating himself and a friend in
illegally spotlighting deer while in possession of a firearm and
for the illegal possession of deer.
CO Fresco and Deputy Wotton stopped a group of individuals hunting
in Lakewood near the Blue Claws sports complex. During the inspection
they came upon a subject who had a homemade paper license. Upon
questioning he told the officers that he lost his license but
remembered his license number and decided to make a new one, similar
to someone who loses a license plate. The officers didn’t
believe his story and after being interviewed by Officer Fresco,
he finally admitted that he never bought a 2006 hunting license.
Summonses for hunt no license and interference was issued.
While on patrol in Upper Freehold Twp, Lt. Sich and CO O’Rourke
observed two individuals dressed in hunting clothes driving across
a farm field in an all-terrain vehicle. When inspected, the subjects
stated that they were hunting earlier but were just getting ready
to leave. They also led officers to believe they were unsuccessful
while hunting that day, but one individual was wearing surgical
gloves and there was fresh blood in the back of their ATV. When
the subject’s were confronted with the officer’s observations,
one individual led officers to a deer that was untagged and hidden
in the woods. Upon further inspection, it was determined that
the hunter didn’t have a valid permit for the zone he was
hunting. The subject finally admitted that a friend shot the deer,
didn’t want it and just gave it to him. The mystery hunter
was contacted and confirmed the story. Summonses were issued to
the two hunters for the illegal possession of deer.
Lt. Sich observed an individual in a farm field located in Upper
Freehold Twp dragging an eight point buck out to the road where
he placed it in a gully and then went back into the woods. Lt.
Sich then contacted Lt. Lacroix to set up on the deer until he
was able to return. Unfortunately, during the short time officers
weren’t present, the deer was taken. Lt. Sich returned to
investigate and he met with the farmer that owned the field and
was told that the deer had been shot by someone else and that
he just dragged it out of his field. He denied any involvement.
Lt. Sich returned to the area later that day with CO Mutone and
was able to locate the deer lying in a farm field behind a neighbors
home with the antlers cut off. Officers followed tracks back to
the subject’s house where the homeowner was interviewed
and admitted to the illegal possession of the deer. The antlers
were seized and a summons was issued.
CO’s Szulecki and Martiak encountered two groups of hunters
that were illegally hunting on private property located in Manalapan.
During the inspection officers issued ten summonses for the following
violations: four trespassing; three no hunters orange; one hunting
after hours; one unplugged gun, and one individual was later charged
with hunting while on the revoked list.
Southern Region Highlights
During one of the early muzzleloader deer days CO Vazquez stopped
a hunter driving out of Wharton State forest with a deer. Upon
inspection, the antlerless deer was found to be untagged and the
man received a summons.
On opening day of the firearm buck season CO Vazquez observed
a vehicle with an 8 point buck pull into a driveway in Monroe
Twp. Gloucester County. Further inspection revealed the deer was
killed in Salem County however it was neither tagged nor registered.
Appropriate summonses were issued.
Lt. Leonard, assisted by DCO Alteri, found a truck in Winslow
Twp., Camden County with blood in the back. A short foot patrol
found the owner of the truck. He was highly irate that he was
being bothered. He said the blood was from a road kill. He complained
that he was being harassed and suggested that the game wardens
should spend more time checking clubs than bothering an innocent
pothunter. After a short discussion, he recanted his story and
admitted to having an untagged, unregistered 5-point buck in his
garage. He apologized for his behavior and said greed got the
better of him. He was issued the appropriate summonses.
CO Vazquez and Deputy Chiusolo, while patrolling for night deer
hunters during firearm buck week in Waterford Twp. Camden County,
spotted a vehicle that was driving around a farmers planted rye
field causing damage to the crop. They followed the vehicle and
with the assistance of Waterford Police, stopped the vehicle after
it pulled into a driveway. In the vehicle, two shotguns were found,
one of which was uncased and there were buckshot rounds on the
seat of the truck. The officers believed the man was trying to
spotlight deer with his vehicle headlights. The appropriate charges
The illegal use of ATV’s continue to increase conservation
officers’ workload. CO Vazquez apprehended a father and
son riding ATV’s on Winslow WMA. Further investigation revealed
that both bikes were stolen. Fish and game charges are pending
while local police investigate the theft. On a different afternoon,
CO’s Ely, Massey and Vazquez apprehended 8 ATV’s on
Winslow WMA. During buck week CO Vazquez apprehended a man who
drove his ATV onto Winslow WMA and then proceeded to hunt without
blaze orange clothing. One evening during buck week, Captain Eisenhuth
and CO Vazquez were in White Oak WMA in Monroe Twp. Gloucester
County when they observed ATV tracks that went from a truck parked
on the side of the road into the management area. They waited
for the vehicle to return. Not long after legal shooting time
an ATV with two hunters, neither wearing helmets nor having their
shotguns cased pulled up. The vehicle wasn’t registered
or insured and was covered in blood. After a short investigation,
CO Vazquez recovered an untagged unregistered deer at one of their
Lt. Leonard and DCO Alteri stopped a vehicle coming out of the
woods in Monroe Twp., Gloucester County. The man said he was in
a hurry and needed to go. He said he left his gun back in the
woods with some other members of his hunting party. Unfortunately
for him the jacket he was using to cover the loaded shotgun on
his front seat wasn’t quite large enough. The officers spotted
the gun and charged the man accordingly.
One evening during the firearm buck week Lt. Leonard and DCO Alteri
stopped two men walking out of the woods in Winslow WMA 30 minutes
after legal hunting hours. One hunter was unloaded the other one
wasn’t sure if he was unloaded. After Deputy Alteri unloaded
the hunter’s gun he was told by the hunter that the reason
for keeping his gun loaded was because he was afraid of coyotes.
In addition this man had deer blood in the back of his truck that
he couldn’t legally account for. The investigation is continuing.
On Thanksgiving Day conservation officers from the southern region
worked roadside checkpoints in Fairton Twp. Cumberland County,
Pennsville Twp. Salem County and Maurice River Twp. in Cumberland
County. Over one hundred and thirty hunters were inspected. Numerous
violations were uncovered including over the limit pheasants,
over the limit geese, mutilate ducks, fail to exhibit license,
no waterfowl stamps, uncased firearms and possession of open container
of alcoholic beverage. Many people both sportsmen and general
public said they were glad to see the conservation officers running
In Alloway Twp., Salem County CO Stites apprehended two men who
were hunting without orange. On further investigation, it was
revealed that one of the hunters had killed a 6-pointer earlier
in the morning but didn’t tag it or check it in. The appropriate
summonses were issued.
On the last day of firearm buck season in Upper Deerfield Twp.,
Cumberland County, CO Risher stopped to check a deer club. Upon
seeing him, one of the hunters who was in the truck with an uncased
gun began to case it. Another hunter got on the radio and told
the other hunters who were in the woods that the warden was here.
CO Risher ran into the woods and found two hunters with untagged
deer and another with an unplugged gun. Numerous summonses were
CO Kille conducted an investigation of a convicted felon that
was alleged to be hunting and in possession of untagged deer.
The deer were found to be registered by the man, however, he claimed
that he had tagged deer that other hunters had killed. Although
it wasn’t proven that the man was ever in possession of
a weapon, CO Kille did charge the man for 5 counts of registering
deer that he didn’t kill and unlawful possession of deer.
CO Kille and DCO Fee apprehended a number of individuals small
game hunting in a business park in Logan Twp. All were within
450’ from the buildings and were without the required orange
which may be related to the fact that they were hunting on the
business’s front lawn. Appropriate summons were issued.
CO Kille and Stites responded to a trespass complaint in West
Deptford. The property is a Homeland Security facility and hunting
is strictly forbidden. After a search, four hunters were apprehended.
All hunters were aware of their violations considering one of
them had spoken with CO Kille just weeks prior and had discussed
the hunting of that particular property. The hunters went through
great lengths to access the property utilizing a rowboat to do
so. All weapons and their untagged deer were seized and appropriate
summons were issued.
An investigation by CO Kille into a hunter that is in arrears
on his child support will lead to his hunting privileges being
suspended. The CO researched the hunter and discovered that he
has been actively hunting deer and subsequently spending a lot
of money to do so instead of supporting his child. The hunter
even falsified the child support questionnaire when purchasing
his licenses. The information has been forwarded to the Gloucester
Co. Probation Office which will contact Trenton to revoke his
CO’s Honachefsky and Batten conducted interviews on two
New Jersey hunters that were possibly involved in an illegal moose
hunt in New Hampshire. New Hampshire requested the interviews
because they are attempting to prosecute the guide. They needed
statements about his hunts from clients that had harvested animals.
Interestingly enough, the two New Jersey hunters harvested a moose,
but the hunters gave different accounts of how it was harvested.
The discrepancy seemed to revolve around the distance the moose
was shot from the road or the vehicle, which is a violation in
New Hampshire. Reports were forwarded to the New Hampshire Conservation
During the later portion of the 2005 hunting season CO Batten
received a complaint about a farmer illegally hunting deer during
closed seasons. CO’s Batten and Honachefsky, with the assistance
of DCO Mullins, conducted surveillance of the farm on Thanksgiving
morning and observed three individuals dress in hunting attire
and enter the woods with firearms. Two individuals were observed
going to deer stands while the third individual conducted deer
drives. The officers heard shots from the area where the standers
were located. When the three individuals exited the woods and
gathered to talk the CO’s conducted inspections. The two
standers were found to be in possession of buckshot and one individual
did not possess fluorescent orange. All three individuals were
charged for illegally deer hunting and two individuals were charged
for the missile and orange violations.
CO’s Ely, Honachefsky, Massey and Batten had been conducting
surveillance on several deer stands in Mullica Township, Atlantic
County, where they received a complaint about individuals hunting
with firearms during the archery season. On the Sunday before
the six-day firearms deer season CO Honachefsky observed a vehicle
enter the area and leave a short time later. Believing that someone
had been dropped off CO Honachefsky, with the assistance of CO
Massey, started checking the known tree stand locations. As CO
Honachefsky climbed a set of steps to the first box blind he was
greeted by an individual at the top of the steps. When confronted
the individual admitted that he had a loaded firearm in the stand.
An inspection of the stand produced a loaded slug gun and ten
rounds of ammunition. The appropriate deer violations and weapons
violations have been issued.
District Six Conservation Officers put the decoy deer to good
use during the six day firearm deer season. On Tuesday evening
CO Batten, with the assistance of CO’s Honachefsky, Massey
and DCO Mullins, ran an operation on the Union Lake Wildlife Management
Area in Millville, Cumberland County. CO Batten had one individual
shoot the decoy from the road, after legal hours and with the
aid of the vehicles lights. The appropriate charges have been
On Wednesday evening CO Honachefsky, with the assistance of Lt.
Cianciulli, CO Batten, and DCO’s Mullins and Nichols, ran
the decoy on the Bevans Wildlife Management Area in Cumberland
County. One individual was apprehended after shooting the decoy
from his vehicle, with the aid of the vehicles lights and after
legal hours. CO Honachefsky issued the appropriate summonses.
As an aside, the driver of the next vehicle exiting the WMA asked
if the guy before him damaged the decoy when he shot. When asked
how he knew the deer was a decoy he indicated that he and his
father, who was also in the vehicle, shot it last year and knew
not to stop and shoot this year.
On Thursday CO Massey ran the decoy on the Peaslee Wildlife Management
Area in Cumberland County. Lt. Cianciulli, CO’s Batten,
Ely, Honachefsky and DCO Mullins assisted. One individual was
apprehended shooting the decoy from his vehicle, across a roadway,
with the aid of the vehicles lights and after legal hours. CO
Massey issued the appropriate summonses.
CO Massey, with the assistance of CO’s Honachefsky, Batten,
Stites and Deputy Mullins, had another individual shoot the decoy
in Mullica Township, Atlantic County. This individual shot the
decoy from a roadway, with the aid of the vehicles lights and
after hours. The appropriate charges will be filed.
CO Batten concentrated the majority of his efforts in the early
muzzleloader season in an area of the Bevans Wildlife Management
Area in Cumberland County. In two evenings he apprehended two
individuals hunting without fluorescent orange and one individual
operating and hunting off an ATV. One individual hunting without
orange had just been convicted for deer hunting violations last
hunting season. The appropriate summonses have been issued.
CO Ely has received numerous complaints about a hunter in Cape
May County, whom he has convicted of deer hunting violation in
2003, that has been harvesting over is limit of bucks and hunting
before and after legal hours. During the six-day firearms season
CO Ely checked the tree stand five times without success. On the
first Saturday of the late muzzleloader season CO Ely and Lt.
Cianciulli went to the location of the stand and hour before legal
hunting hours. A short time later the hunter was observed coming
through the woods with a flashlight and climbing into his tree
stand. With a half hour left before legal hours the CO’s
inspected the hunter and apprehended him with a loaded firearm
and no fluorescent orange. The hunter was also unlawfully hunting
over bait, which is a violation on federal property. The appropriate
summonses have been issued.
During a routine inspection in Hamilton Township, Atlantic County,
CO Massey checked a hunter with a muzzleloader during the either-sex
shotgun season. CO Massey advised him that hunting with a muzzleloader
during the either-six shotgun season was illegal and that he didn’t
have an either-sex permit in his possession. The hunter said that
he thought that his muzzleloader permit was valid during the either-sex
shotgun season if he hunted with a muzzleloader. A summons for
hunting without a valid permit was issued and a warning was given
for possessing the muzzleloader.
CO’s Honachefsky and Batten responded to call of lost hunters
in the Bear Swamp Wildlife Management Area in Cumberland County.
After a lengthy search, the two hunters were located and returned
to their vehicle. The hunters were lost for over five hours and
very appreciative when they were located. One hunter had lost
his jacket, hunting license and other hunting equipment.
CO Batten responded to a trespass complaint in Fairfield Township,
Cumberland County during the either-sex deer season. When CO Batten
arrived at the location the drive had concluded, but two individuals
were observed in a vehicle with uncased firearms and an untagged
doe in the bed of another truck. Two summonses were issued for
the uncased guns and the third hunter was allowed to properly
tag and check the deer.
Marine Enforcement Highlights
On December 3, 2006 Conservation Officers Dravis & Sennick
inspected two fyke nets, which were set in the Shark River. Numerous
violations were documented. By regulations, each fyke net cannot
exceed a total length of 30 fathoms or 180 feet. Each of the fyke
nets when measured utilizing a certified laser rangefinder was
found to be 240 and 221 feet respectively. Additionally, none
of the stakes used to support the net had reflectors on them as
required by regulation for navigational safety. The stakes were
also being used to join the two nets, thus in effect increasing
the length even further. The nets’ gear identification numbers
were also missing. During the inspection, the owner belligerently
approached Conservation Officer Dravis until he realized the officer’s
identity. When asked for his fyke net license, the owner failed
to have it in his possession. One summons was issued for the length
violation on one net while warnings were issued on the other violations.
The issued summons carries a penalty of $300 to $3000.
Over the course of a two-day patrol, Conservation Officer Sennick
issued the following summonses in and around the Belmar Inlet
in Belmar and Avon, NJ.
- 2 summonses for sublegal striped bass involving 2 striped bass
- 1 summons for possession of winter flounder during the closed
- 4 summonses for possession of tog less than 14” in length
- 1 summons for possession of 2 tog over the legal possession
Captain Boyle gave a lecture on low light shooting to instructor
candidates at the police service rifle class at Fort Dix. Training
was conducted by the Division of Criminal Justice Academy.
Two training days were devoted to requalification with M4 carbines.
Captain Boyle and Lieutenant Brown attended a three day anti-terrorism
conference in Atlantic City. The conference was sponsored by the
International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors.
Law Enforcement Agencies in New Jersey are required to provide
training on terrorism to all sworn personnel.