December 2006

NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife
Monthly Highlights
Bureau of Law Enforcement

Northern Region Highlights

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 season.

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 were signed.

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 information.

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 were issued.

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 were filed.

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 friends houses.

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 the checkpoints.

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 issued.

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 hunting privileges.

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 Officers.

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 filed.

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 season
- 4 summonses for possession of tog less than 14” in length
- 1 summons for possession of 2 tog over the legal possession limit.

Training Highlights

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.





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Last Update April 18, 2007