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Hunting Accident File > VIOLATIONS: > 2003

ANDOVER MAYOR FINED FOR HUNTING

Official plans to pay $242 for his mistakes

Friday, December 12, 2003

BY JIM LOCKWOOD

Star-Ledger Staff

The state Division of Fish and Wildlife has issued two hunting summonses to Andover Township Mayor Robert Transue, for failing to check in a deer as required and hunting out of season, authorities said.

Transue said he will plead guilty to the summonses and pay the minimum $242 in fines.

"I made a mistake. I'm going to plead guilty," the 60-year-old mayor said.

The summonses were issued Dec. 3 after a resident filed a complaint with the state's "Operation Game Thief" Program hotline, saying Transue shot a small buck Dec. 2 but never checked the animal in with wildlife authorities as required, said division spokeswoman Amy Cradic.

On Dec. 3, a conservation officer contacted Transue, who allegedly admitted he did not check the deer in, and also continued muzzleloader hunting Dec. 3, even though that season ended Dec. 2, Cradic said.

Transue was hunting on the "Turco property" in Andover Township next to the Farmstead Golf and Country Club on Route 623, according to the mayor and the summonses on file at town hall.

After shooting the deer, Transue went to a deer-check station and was told by the operator that he had to check the deer in, Cradic said.

However, Transue allegedly told the checker "it was a small buck and he did not want to use his buck tag, and wanted to continue hunting for a larger buck," Cradic said.

Transue denied that assertion yesterday, saying, "That was never stated," and he was not sure if he went to a check station.

Transue, who has been hunting for the past 48 years, said it was the first time he hunted with a muzzleloader in the state, and went out Dec. 3 because he did not know the season ended Dec. 2.

The summonses do not necessarily require a court appearance, and could be disposed of out of court by paying the minimum $121 fine per violation, Cradic and a municipal court official said.

If he wanted to contest the summonses, Transue would have had to have attended a hearing in municipal court last night. If found guilty through a court proceeding, he would face stiffer fines of up to $500 per violation.

Jim Lockwood can be reached at jlockwood@starledger.com  or
(973) 383-0516.


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