EARLTON — An Earlton man who shot a buck outside of regular hunting season last fall was fined for the illegal hunt, state officials said Thursday.
The hunter, identified by the state Department of Environmental Conservation as Eric D. Nisch, 35, was ticketed for multiple violations of the Environmental Conservation Law and paid a $1,000 fine in Coxsackie Town Court, DEC spokesman Jomo Miller said.
The case was settled Aug. 9.
The Oct. 31 poaching took place during bow season. The state’s regular deer hunting opens in the southern zone, which includes Greene County, toward the end of November, according to dec.ny.gov.
Officers Lucas Palmateer and Jason Smith investigated the incident after another concerned bow hunter reported two men who appeared to have shot and killed a buck with a rifle, Miller said.
The officers interviewed the complainant, who recalled seeing two men walking through the woods and one of them carrying a long gun, Miller said. A short time later, the complainant reported hearing two gunshots and seeing the men dragging a buck through the woods.
The complainant shared the license plate number of the men involved with the poaching with the DEC. Police visited six different residences across Ulster, Greene, and Albany counties during the investigation.
The vehicle officers searched for was improperly registered, preventing them from pinpointing its location, Miller said.
Police determined the deer was at an undisclosed Earlton residence after interviewing multiple people, taking statements and following leads. When they arrived, officers saw a hanging eight-point buck and two men standing beside it.
After interviewing the men, police determined the buck was shot by a person who had already harvested a deer during bow season, but tagged it with another hunter’s tag, Miller said.
The deer was first wounded by an arrow Oct. 30, investigators found. The two men returned to the woods the following day to shoot it with the rifle.
The officers seized the deer and transported it to DEC’s Wildlife Health Lab at the time of the incident.
Smith ticketed two other people for lending tags to the man and for being an accessory to the illegal take of whitetail deer. The charges remain pending in court.