November 2007

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

Northern Region

CO Williamson investigated a complaint of an individual shooting deer with a rifle at night on his property in Lafayette Township in Sussex County. CO Williamson made contact with the individual while conducting a foot patrol of the area during the day. The individual, who was hunting with a crossbow permit, had a drop of blood on his boot. At first, the individual claimed it was mud but later admitted it was blood from a deer his friends had given him the previous evening. He explained to CO Williamson that the untagged deer was hanging in his shed. CO Williamson examined the deer and determined it was shot in the chest with a single projectile. CO Williamson contacted the other two individuals who claimed someone else killed the deer with a rifle and they found it dead in the road. All three individuals will be charged pending an examination of the deer by Dr. Roscoe. CO Nestel assisted in the investigation.

CO Paul apprehended three individuals in Somerset County during the regular archery season for having nocked arrows in a safety zone. All three apprehensions were the result on-going investigations from last fall and winter archery seasons.

CO Williamson investigated an OGT complaint of an individual taking over-the-limit deer in Rockaway Township in Morris County. The individual was allegedly trespassing on County Park property and not tagging or registering any deer. CO Williamson interviewed the individual at his residence who admitted to taking and not registering a 6 point and an 8 point buck. CO Williamson seized the two deer racks and issued the appropriate summonses.

CO Kuechler apprehended an individual on the opening day of Pheasant Season at Whittingham WMA in possession of one pheasant over the daily limit. The appropriate complaint was signed.

CO Hutchinson assisted the Wanaque Police Department involving an individual they apprehended for spotlighting deer with three shotguns in his vehicle. CO Hutchinson interviewed the individual and noticed dried blood on his hands. The individual admitted to killing a buck earlier in the day, while in the company of two friends. He told CO Hutchinson the deer was hanging in a shed at his friend’s house. CO Hutchinson proceeded to the residence and found the untagged deer in the shed. The two other involved individuals were interviewed and admitted to hunting earlier in the day with their friend. All three individuals were charged with hunting without valid licenses, hunting deer closed season, illegal missiles, hunting without hunter orange, failure to tag and register a deer, QDM violations and hunting deer with a dog. Additionally, the first individual was charged with all the appropriate night deer violations.

CO Kuechler apprehended an individual in Parsippany Township in Morris County in possession of an untagged deer on township property. An investigation by the officer determined the individual didn’t possess a valid extended archery season permit and discharged the bow within 450’ of a residence. The appropriate summonses were issued.

CO Hutchinson investigated a case of an individual who was overheard at a delicatessen saying he had trapped a bobcat in NJ and was having it mounted. A check of the local taxidermy shops produced the bobcat, which was sealed from NY. The individual was interviewed who claimed to have taken the bobcat legally in NY with a .22 rifle during the small game season. The bobcat was seized and examined by Dr. Roscoe. He determined the animal was caught in a body-gripping snare and found no evidence of a projectile wound. The individual continued to claim he legally killed the bobcat in NY and agreed to submit to a polygraph test. CO Hutchinson arranged for a FBI polygrapher to interview the individual. The individual admitted to trapping the bobcat in NJ and registering it in NY after he was told he was scheduled to meet with the FBI agent the following week. The individual entered a plea of guilty in West Milford Court with penalties totaling $950.00.

On opening day of the pheasant season, CO Williamson and Deputy CO Schleifer apprehended five individuals hunting an hour early at Black River WMA in Morris County.

CO Hutchinson and Deputy Struble investigated a case of an individual using a regular archery season license to register an eight point buck during the permit archery season. The hunter was interviewed and claimed his friend had taken the buck to an unknown taxidermist. The head was later located at a local taxidermist shop registered under the friend’s name. During a subsequent interview, the hunter explained how he killed a doe during the early archery season and his friend didn’t. His friend killed the buck and used the hunter’s license to check it in because he thought he still had to kill a doe first. CO Hutchinson explained to the hunter that those regulations didn’t apply to the permit season although neither hunter had an extended bow season permit or buck permit. The deer head was seized and the appropriate summonses are pending.

Central Region

Officers Martiak, McManus, O’Rourke and Szulecki were assigned to complete background investigations on a list of potential candidates for the position of Conservation Officer III. Their professionalism and dedication to completing this task within the time allotted was greatly appreciated.

After receiving a complaint of illegal waterfowl hunting from residents of a Jackson Twp community, Officer Mutone and Lt. Sich located a suspect vehicle and set up surveillance on the occupants. At forty five minutes after quitting time, the group was still actively hunting with shots being fired. When officers made contact, the shooters turned out to be a father and son who were accompanied by two non-hunting guests. In addition to hunting after hours, the two hunters had numerous rounds of lead shot in their possession. Approximately two weeks later, the same father and son stopped their vehicle on Success Road located in the Colliers Mills Wildlife Management Area to shoot a pheasant that was on the side of the road. When the father yelled to his son to shoot, his son complied. Unfortunately, the young man shot a decoy pheasant from the center of the road and was quickly greeted by Officers Szalaj and Mutone. Once the father realized what had happened he loudly exclaimed “I told you not to shoot from the road”. Both incidents were dealt with accordingly.

On a late Sunday afternoon Officers Tonnesen, Mutone and Lt. Sich encountered a large group of individuals operating all-terrain vehicles off the established roadways of the Greenwood Forest Wildlife Management Area. All individuals ran when they were signaled to stop, requiring the officers to track them down. A total of sixteen summonses were issued. When questioned, the subjects acknowledged that they knew it was illegal to operate their all-terrain vehicles on wildlife management property and apologized for their behavior.
Lt. Sich responded to a complaint of illegal duck hunting on the Rancocas Creek during the closed season. Prior to his arrival, he was advised by the informant that the subjects had just left the area and provided the officer with their vehicle registration and description. With the information provided the officer was able to make contact with the two hunters as they pulled into their driveway. During the interview both subjects admitted to hunting and were found to be in possession of illegal waterfowl.

Officer Szulecki assisted Monmouth County Park Officers investigate and charge a suspect who was caught hunting in a prohibited area and within 450 ft of a residence at Turkey Swamp Park. Apparently when the hunter saw the Park Officer approach, he tried to escape by jumping out of his tree stand. Unfortunately, in doing so the subject broke his back and required immediate medical attention.

The Central Region Office received a complaint that two fishermen were below the dam at Gropps Lake in Hamilton Twp., Mercer County, fishing without licenses and keeping undersized Largemouth Bass. Officer McManus responded to the complaint. Upon inspection both fishermen had valid fishing licenses. However they also had nineteen undersized bass, ranging in size from six to eight inches. Summonses were issued to both men for possession of undersized bass and also for possession of over the limit. All nineteen fish were alive and released.

Officer Martiak received information that a hunter he apprehended several times and whose hunting privileges were revoked was hunting during the Fall Bow Season in Middletown Twp., Monmouth County. This hunter had told the officer that he was going to continue hunting even though he was revoked. Officer Martiak found the hunter's tree stand and checked it numerous times during the season. Officers Martiak and Szulecki checked the stand one afternoon during the Permit Bow Season and found it occupied. Officer Szulecki watched the hunter with binoculars while CO Martiak approached the hunter. When the hunter saw the officer approaching he threw his bow and jumped from the stand. Officer Martiak was able to catch him. The hunter was issued summonses for hunting while revoked, possession of a nocked arrow within 450 feet of an occupied building, hunting without a license and without a permit. The bow was seized as evidence. Several weeks later Officer Martiak was in court with the hunter. The officer spoke with the Prosecutor and the Judge prior to the start of court. He explained to them that the hunter was going to continue hunting regardless of the fact that he was revoked. The hunter pled guilty to all the charges and the Judge assessed penalties of over $1200 and added three years to his current revocation. The Judge asked the hunter if he had anything to say. He foolishly told the Judge that he was going to continue hunting regardless of being revoked. The Judge rose from her seat and told him she was outraged at his lack of respect for both the law and her court. She told him that if she found out that he was caught hunting anywhere in the State she would have him arrested and brought before her for contempt of court.

Southern Region

CO Stites received a complaint of illegal waterfowl hunting on the opening day of small game season. He responded to an area near a commercial hunting preserve in Pennsville Township, Salem County. Two men were apprehended and were charged for hunting waterfowl during the closed season.

On opening day of small game season, CO Vazquez observed two separate hunters shoot their limits of pheasants on the Winslow Wildlife Management Area in Winslow Township, Camden County. They continued to hunt and a short time later CO Vazquez observed them leaving. CO Vazquez initiated two separate motor vehicle stops on the hunters. Each hunter did take and possess 1 pheasant over the daily bag limit. The appropriate charges were filed against each hunter.

CO Kille and CO Vazquez conducted an ATV patrol at the DOD Wildlife Management Area in Oldsman Township, Salem County. A total of 10 ATV’s were apprehended and 20 summonses were issued for the appropriate Title 23 violations. Two of the illegal riders were placed into custody for outstanding warrants totaling $2300.00.

CO Stites and CO Kille responded to a call regarding an illegal deer hunt in Upper Pittsgrove, Salem County. There were two hunters and a third person who was the driver of the vehicle that dropped the hunters off in the area. The hunters separated to elude detection by the officers. CO Kille did apprehend the first hunter and the second hunter still hid in the woods. About two hours later CO Stites, along with the driver in the drop off vehicle, called the second hunter on the cell phone and picked him up. Both hunters are repeat offenders and were charged with the following violations: defiant trespass, hindering apprehension, interference with the duties of a conservation officer, trespass for the purpose of hunting, hunting while revoked, failing to tag and register deer and fail to exhibit driver’s license.

CO Kille responded to a trespass complaint in Harrison Township, Gloucester County. CO Kille found evidence of a deer kill and located the trespassing hunter. The hunter had shot a “Y Buck” in a trophy deer management zone. CO Kille charged the hunter with unlawful possession, quality deer management violation, fail to tag and register, no buck stub, and trespass for the purpose of hunting.

CO Risher, while on patrol in the Cedar Lake Wildlife Management Area in Monroe Township Gloucester County, apprehended 6 ATV operators illegally riding. The appropriate summonses were issued.

CO Risher responded to Camden City for the illegal possession of an American Alligator. Camden City Animal Control had removed and secured paperwork to surrender the animal. Barbara Stoff assisted with finding a licensed facility to care for the animal. The appropriate summons for unlawful possession of a potentially dangerous species without a permit was issued.

Conservation Officer Batten responded to several citizen complaints about a hunter who started pheasant hunting early on the opening day on the Bevans Wildlife Management Area in Millville, Cumberland County. When CO Batten approached the hunter he initially wouldn’t listen to the CO’s commands and continued to hunt. When CO Batten was able to stop him and conduct a field inspection the hunter indicated that he didn’t think that he was doing anything wrong and that he thought all the other hunters who were yelling for him not to enter the field were just road hunters. The hunter said that he started hunting at 7:00 am when the season always starts and that he had shot one pheasant. Conservation Officer Batten informed him that at the time of the inspection he was still a half-hour early and that the season starts at 8:00 am. The appropriate summons was issued.

Conservation Officer Massey was waiting to pick-up a deputy when a concerned motorist approached him and indicated that a vehicle on the roadway that they were stopped on was driving erratically. Conservation Officer Massey called ahead to the Hammonton Police Department in Atlantic County and informed them that an impaired driver was entering their jurisdiction. Conservation Officer Massey was able to locate the vehicle and performed the initial motor vehicle stop. A Hammonton Patrolman arrived and took the individual into custody. The motorist was later found to be three times over the legal limit for driving while intoxicated. Hammonton filed the appropriated charges.

Marine Region

On Wednesday November 7, 2007, Officer Canale inspected the party/charter boat Miss Atlantic City in Atlantic City. There were only 6 patrons onboard and they were targeting black sea bass. There was a total of 285 fish caught by the six anglers. Out of the 285 fish 148 were of legal size. If all of the sub legal fish were released, the anglers would have been 2 fish shy of their combined limit of 150 fish. Summonses were issued to all six patrons for possessing undersize and over the limit sea bass.


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Last Update January 24, 2008