NY: Major Crackdown on Deer Poaching Nets More Than 100 Individuals
December 12, 2009
Major Crackdown on Deer Poaching Nets More Than 100 Individuals
"Operation Jackhammer" Targets Violators in Hudson Valley, Catskills,
Capital Region and Adirondacks
by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
ALBANY, NY (12/08/2009)(readMedia)-- A major initiative to crack down on
illegal deer hunting from the Hudson Valley to the Canadian border has led
to charges against 107 individuals for more than 250 offenses, New York
State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Pete
Grannis announced today.
The investigation, dubbed "Operation Jackhammer," focused on the illegal
taking of deer by use of artificial light a practice commonly known as "deer
jacking." This involves night hunting where poachers shine a spotlight on a
deer feeding in fields to "freeze" the animal long enough to shoot it --
killing deer when they are most vulnerable. Typically, deer jacking occurs
in remote rural areas, late at night. Due to these late hours and secluded
areas, there are few, if any, witnesses to this crime.
What we found was surprising. Deer jacking occurs more frequently than
the public may suspect. I'm proud of the success of our officers who put in
long hours at night, dealing with armed individuals and often without backup
help. Their work sends a strong message that poaching will not be
"Deer jacking involves someone firing off a high-powered rifle in the
dark, not knowing what or who is behind their target. Sometimes, it involves
shooting across roads. But also, poachers typically trespass across private
lands, violate hunting ethics and rob legitimate hunters of opportunities."
During the six-week operation, DEC officers charged 107 individuals with
187 misdemeanors and 87 violations. This included 27 instances of hunters
killing deer at night while using a spotlight or other artificial light and
48 instances where a hunter was caught using a light but had yet to kill a
deer. Typically, other related charges were filed in these instances, such
as carrying a loaded gun in a vehicle, hunting after hours and firing a gun
within 500 feet of a house.
By region, 102 misdemeanors and 37 violations were filed in the
Adirondack Park and surrounding North Country. In the Capital Region and
northern Catskills, there were 71 misdemeanors and 46 violations. In the
southern Catksills and Lower and Mid-Hudson Valley, there were 14
misdemeanors and four violations.
Approximately 40 guns were confiscated and 42 illegally-taken deer
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