NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife
Bureau of Law Enforcement
CO Hutchinson and DCO Struble investigated an individual who
registered a 7 point buck for his friend. The officers interviewed
the individual who admitted to checking in the deer for his
friend because he didn’t have a valid permit. The individual
said his friend took the deer to an unknown taxidermist and
gave the officers a full written statement. The second individual
was interviewed and denied killing the deer. He said his friend
was mistaken and he had no knowledge of the deer. The officers
inspected 3 local taxidermy shops and found the deer. Although
the deer wasn’t recorded in his ledger, the taxidermist
said the second individual brought the deer in. He said he was
a good customer therefor he didn’t keep records of their
business transactions. The officers re-interviewed the first
individual who claimed he didn’t remember giving the officers
a written statement because he was drunk. He produced a deer
rack which he claimed to be the 7 point buck that he killed
and registered. The officers examined the rack and quickly determined
that it was an 8-point rack with a tine sawed off. The second
individual was contacted and eventually explained what they
had done. He said he killed a 7 point buck without a muzzleloader
permit and asked his friend to check it in. He said he gave
his friend an unregistered 8 point rack with a sawed off tine
to show the officers. Both individuals were charged with all
the appropriate summonses and all 3 taxidermist received summonses
for failure to maintain records.
While inspecting deer at a local deer processor one week after
the 6-day firearm season, CO Sutton observed a deer with a shotgun
transportation tag affixed to it. The butcher said an individual
had just brought the deer in and was told he didn’t see
the need to check it in because he killed it on the last day
of the season. The officer contacted the PA resident and advised
him the deer appeared to have been freshly killed and not from
a week earlier and he was in violation for not registering it.
The officer also determined by reviewing the individuals hunting
credentials that he had procured NJ Disabled Veteran licenses
for several years although he was a PA resident and not eligible.
The individual had used his correct address to apply except
he used NJ instead of PA on his license application. The deer
was seized and summonses for the unregistered deer and the wrongfully
procured DV licenses and permits were issued.
CO Nestel responded to call for assistance from the NJSP concerning
the apprehension of two individuals who shot a deer from their
vehicle in Stillwater Township, Sussex County. A local resident
observed an occupant of a van shot a deer from the window of
the vehicle. She called the NJSP who had observed the vehicle
less than ten minutes of receiving the call. The troopers initiated
a motor vehicle stop and interviewed the two passengers in the
van. The driver denied having a firearm in the vehicle until
the troopers observed a blood stained deer through a window
of the van. The driver then admitted that the passenger shot
the deer from the window with a shotgun, as the caller had said.
The deer and firearm were seized and CO Nestel issued summonses
for possessing a loaded firearm in a vehicle, uncased firearm
in a vehicle, loaded firearm within 450’ of a dwelling,
failure to tag and register a deer, failure to exhibit valid
hunting licenses, discharge from the road and hunt by use of
a motor vehicle.
While patrolling in Hardyston Twp on New Year’s Day, CO
Ziegler and DCO Schaublin apprehended an individual who was
hunting without a valid license, a valid muzzleloader permit
and without hunter orange. Summonses for the violations were
CO Hutchinson responded to a complaint of two individuals shooting
deer in a suburban area and butchering them in one of their
garages. The officer arrived at the residence and was met in
the driveway by one of the individuals. He told the officer
that he had no knowledge of the allegations made against him
or his friend. The officer then observed, through a garage window,
blood on the floor and knives and a deer fetus on a workbench.
The individual then admitted to the officer that he and a friend
had just finished butchering a deer that his friend had shot
earlier in the day. He told the officer that they didn’t
have valid hunting licenses or shotgun permits. The individual
then led the officer into the garage and showed him 6 deer racks
and turkey parts, none of which were registered. The second
individual was interviewed and he admitted to killing the deer
without the proper license and permit. The deer and turkey parts
were seized and both individuals were charged with the appropriate
McManus initiated the covert purchase of exotic, non-game and
potentially dangerous species that were being offered for sale
on the Internet. When the ground work was set in place, COs
Mutone, Tomlin and Lt. Lacroix assisted in the sting. The subject
was subsequently arrested after completing the transaction for
the sale of an Alligator and three Alligator Snapping Turtles.
When the subject finally realized what had occurred, he decided
to cooperate with the officers and informed them that he had
other regulated species at his residence. After written consent
was given, officers documented the following animals at the
subject’s residence: two Aldabra Tortoises; two Fly River
Turtles; and additional non-game species collected from the
wild. This investigation is continuing as officers attempt to
identify other species that were sold prior to the sting. The
subject was charged with the possession of regulated non-game
and exotic species without a permit, possession of a potentially
dangerous species and collecting non-game species without a
COs Martiak and Tomlin inspected an Asian market in Plainsboro
that has had several violations in the past. They found wild
striped bass being offered for sale and issued summonses for
CO O’Rourke was traveling on the New Jersey Turnpike en-route
to the Edison Sportsmen’s Show when he observed a hunter
too close to some buildings near the Turnpike. Unsure of what
road the hunter was on; CO O’Rourke checked his navigation
unit and was able to ascertain the precise location of the hunter.
CO O’Rourke then contacted CO Martiak and advised him
of the violation and location. CO Martiak responded to the area
and found the hunter within 450’ of a building. The appropriate
summons was issued.
Numerous noise complaints have been made regarding goose hunters
on the islands just off Trenton in the Delaware River during
the last several years. Lt. Lacroix responded to a complaint
early one Saturday morning and observed three hunters. Past
measurements of the islands have shown that the hunters are
outside the safety zone however, they can only shoot in a north
or south direction. Lt. Lacroix watched the hunters for over
three hours to determine if they were shooting in a safe direction.
During this time she observed all three hunters shoot and kill
mergansers which were out of season and one hunter swung while
shooting and shot in the direction of the homes on the New Jersey
side. CO Mascio checked the area boat ramps and found the hunters
vehicles and trailers at a ramp in Yardley, PA. The hunters
were called to shore after the violations were observed and
inspected. All three hunters were in possession of PA resident
hunting licenses however, the islands are in New Jersey. All
three were charged with hunting without proper licenses, shooting
mergansers out of season and one hunter was charged with careless
Lt. Lacroix was contacted by West Windsor PD late one evening
regarding three individuals who had been stopped coming out
of the woods behind an area church. One individual had been
deer hunting and had shot a deer that they couldn’t find.
The police officer believed that the hunter was hunting illegally.
Lt. Lacroix responded to the area. The hunter had been shotgun
hunting during the closed season (only muzzleloader was open).
His friend had been videotaping the hunt. The other friend had
come to help locate the wounded deer. Lt. Lacroix helped with
to track the deer through a large swamp which took over two
hours. The deer, a very large 8 point buck, was still alive
and Lt. Lacroix had to dispatch the deer. The hunter recently
pled guilty in court for hunting out of season.
Despite the extremely cold temperatures, the local youth are
still partying on State WMAs. CO Mutone and Lt. Lacroix patrolled
the Colliers Mills WMA late one Friday night and found a large
group of people assembled in a notorious party spot with a large
bonfire. Summonses for after hours violations were issued. One
of the individuals there was a several time repeat offender
of WMA regulations including a recent dumping violation.
Conservation Officer Batten while on routine patrol with Deputy
Conservation Shivers stopped by a bridge in Southern Cumberland
County. Upon checking for duck hunters, they heard some shots
nearby. They noticed that there were a lot of ducks flushing from
an area in which they could hear a boat under power. Within seconds,
they heard shots coming from the same area. As the boat approached,
the hidden officers observed two men in the boat with a man holding
a shotgun in his hands. As the boat went under the bridge the
officers observed the man in the boat load the firearm. As the
boat proceeded up the creek the officers observed the man in the
boat begin to fire at the ducks that the boat flushed while still
under power. The boat continued under power for about ten minutes
and then returned. The officers prepared to try to stop the boat
as it passed under the bridge but the boat suddenly landed near
them. They took both suspects into custody and found numerous
violations in addition to power boating for waterfowl. The appropriate
summonses were issued.
Conservation Officer Vazquez received a complaint that there were
individuals trapping beaver with more then the legal number of
traps. Officers Vazquez and Kille were checking the area in plain
clothes when a trapper approached them and started a conversation.
Earlier the officers had located some illegal traps and in speaking
with the trapper they learned that he was there to pull the traps
because his friend had been called by the “game warden”.
During the conversation the trapper admitted to having beaver
back at the “gun club” and that some of the traps
were not legal. Officer Vazquez and Kille identified themselves
and in the subsequent investigation they identified a second trapper
that had traps mixed in with the first trappers gear. The officers
recovered the untagged traps. The trappers were charged with having
traps that were illegally set, using over the legal limit of traps,
possession of unregistered beaver and several other trapping violations.
Conservation Officers Risher and Batten acted on fresh information
that a vehicle had taken a deer illegally and was parked on a
farm. Conservation Officer Risher responded to the location and
observed two individuals washing out the rear portion of the vehicle.
Upon the arrival of Conservation Officer Batten the two officers
approached the two individuals. Based on information the officers
received during the interview they retrieved a pistol that was
allegedly used in taking the deer, and the deer that the suspects
killed and butchered. Further investigation lead the Officers
to several more deer that had been illegally taken and butchered.
Appropriate summonses were issued and the pistol was seized.
A local police officer stopped a motor vehicle and observed a
spotlight and a gun case in a motor vehicle. When questioned about
the case, the occupants of the vehicle denied having a weapon.
The local police contacted Conservation Officer Kille and a search
of the area produced a loaded rifle. When questioned by Conservation
Officer Kille, both occupants admitted to hunting deer that night
with the rifle. Conservation Officer Kille issued the appropriate
Conservation Officer Risher responded to a complaint of several
hunters hunting without hunters orange in a nursery. Upon his
arrival he located six adult and two juvenile migrant workers
hunting rabbits with slingshots and rocks. Conservation Officer
Risher explained to the “hunters” that this is not
an acceptable method of taking rabbits in New Jersey and how they
could obtain their hunting licenses. No summonses were issued.
Dravis received a complaint from an individual within his large
network of informants in reference to an individual taking undersized
tautog at the Point Pleasant Canal. While searching for the violator’s
vehicle, CO Dravis encountered another group of three fishermen
walking up to their vehicle from the canal carrying a bucket with
5 undersized tautog. While CO Dravis was completing the summonses
for these individuals, the complainant telephoned and advised
CO Dravis that the original subject was now walking to his vehicle.
CO Dravis proceeded to the subject’s location and asked
him how he did. He fisherman replied, “Got one, it’s
a little short” and proceeds to put the fish in his vehicle.
CO Dravis asked to see it and it measured less that 14 inches.
CO Dravis issued the summons for 1 undersized tautog. A few hours
later CO Dravis returned to the canal and observed the same individual
now fishing with another individual. CO Dravis observed the fishermen
catching tautog and placing them in a bucket. CO Dravis stealthily
approached the fishermen and found 9 undersized tautog in the
bucket. At one point during the inspection, the individual from
the earlier violation removed his cap and CO Dravis suddenly realized
he had summoned the same individual a few years earlier for the
same violation. At that time, CO Dravis encountered the individual
prior to fishing and advised him of the regulations and provided
him with a regulation card then later that day caught him in possession
of undersized tautog. This time, the individual was issued another
summons for the 5 undersized tautog and his buddy for 4 tautog
On 12/14/08 CO Dravis approached the scallop dredge vessel McGinty
as she was pulling up to the dock at the Point Pleasant Co-op.
The mate observed CO Dravis and grabbed a fish tote on the opposite
side of the vessel and dumped out the contents. The mate claimed
it was squid that he dumped. On further inspection, CO Dravis
found yellowtail and summer flounder fillets in another container.
The summer flounder by catch season was closed at this time. The
appropriate summons was issued.
District 8 Officers patrolled Cape May’s Commercial docks
for the opening of New Jersey’s January 2009 commercial
fluke season. CO Snellbaker and CO Nicklow apprehended the FV
Jane Carolyn landing 263lbs of fluke over the weekly trip limit
of 5,000lbs. Officers seized the overage and sold it to Cold Spring
Fish and Supply Co. They issued both the Captain and the owner
of the vessel one summons each for landing in excess of the trip
limit. In addition, CO Snellbaker and Nicklow apprehended the
FV Miss Planters for landing 100lbs of fluke over the trip limit
of fluke. Officer’s issued a written warning for the overage.
CO Petruccelli apprehended the FV Little Sammie at Lunds Fisheries
with 150lbs in excess of the daily trip limit of summer flounder.
He issued the vessel a written warning for the overage landed.
On January 7, 2009, CO Petruccelli apprehended the FV McKenzie
at Cold Spring Fish and Supply Co. in Cape May for landing in
excess of New Jersey’s trip limit for Summer Flounder. CO
Pettruccelli observed the vessel offload 5,410lbs of summer flounder,
410lbs over the landing limit of 5,000lbs once per week. CO Petruccelli
seized the overage and auctioned it off to a New Jersey permitted
fluke dealer. Cold Spring Fish and Supply Co. was the successful
bidder and issued a check for the fair market value of the product.
CO Petruccelli issued one summons each to the owner and the operator
of the FV McKenzie for the violation of New Jersey’s Commercial
CO Scott inspected the crab dredge vessel FV Big Dog at the Belford
Seafood Co-op dock. The operator of the vessel did not possess
a 2009 crab dredge permit. CO Scott dutifully checked the suspended
crab license list and found the operator’s name. The value
of the blue claw crabs was seized and the appropriate summonses
issued. Penalties range from $300.00 to $1,000.00.