CATSKILL — A Saugerties man is facing misdemeanor charges after he illegally shot a six-point buck with a .308 rifle, officials said.
Environmental Conservation Officer Anthony Glorioso responded to a complaint in Catskill on Nov. 4 about a hunter, who was in possession of a .22 caliber rifle, shooting the deer, according to a statement from the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
The man, who Glorioso declined to name, was hunting in a wooded area between High Falls and Nelson Hoffman roads with a rifle during bow season when hunters are not allowed to, Glorioso said Wednesday.
Bow season began Oct. 1 and will end today. Gun season starts Saturday.
“To his defense, he was out coyote hunting,” Glorioso said. “The deer came in front of him and he shot it.”
After interviews and an investigation, the hunter was arrested and processed before being released with several tickets, according to the DEC. The offenses include illegally pursuing protected wildlife, killing deer by illegal means, hunting over bait and hunting deer with rimfire ammunition.
The man used apples, donuts and bread to attract animals, Glorioso said, adding the hunter will appear in the Catskill Town Court at a later date to face the charges.
“They’ll use that to attract deers or bears to where they’re hunting,” he said.
By using a rifle during bow season, it creates an unfair playing field for hunters using a bow and arrow, Glorioso said.
“He’s [the hunter] using a firearm — it’s an unfair advantage,” he said. “The guys out with a bow and arrow, they’re out for days and days and days waiting for the opportunity.”
The case was handled by environmental conservation officers.
“The majority of times for hunting and fishing regulations, it’s handled by the DEC police,” the officer said. “We do the charges.”
Illegal deer hunting is not common, Glorioso said, but does happen occasionally.
“That’s why we’re out there,” he said. “We try to curb the unethical hunting practices.”
The deer was seized and will be given to a donation program where the Greene County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs pay butchers to process the meat to be given to food pantries and families in need, Glorioso said.
“There’s certain butchers that are set up for us law enforcement,” he added. “Nothing gets wasted.”
When hunters find people violating the law during gun season, officers encourage residents to contact the DEC’s 24-hour dispatch at 1-877-457-5680, Glorioso said, adding residents can also submit anonymous tips through the DEC website.
“They can report any violations or hunting violations,” he said. “We want everyone to be safe — that’s the main thing.”
To reach reporter Daniel Zuckerman email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @DZuckerman_CGM.