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CT: man arrested on illegal trapping charges

February 1, 2010

Burlington man arrested on illegal trapping charges

According to a press release issued today by the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, the state's EnCon Police (Environmental Conservation Police) arrested Conrad R. Doty, of Burlington, on a number of charges relating to illegal trapping activity in Winchester. This arrest stems from an ongoing investigation the EnCon Police started back in December of last year shortly after a bobcat was reported caught in an illegal snare trap. It is currently illegal to use a snare hold trap and to trap bobcat in Connecticut. Officers tranquilized the bobcat and successfully released it back into the wild unharmed. Other illegal snare traps were located on the property and officers began surveillance of the area. The next day EnCon Police observed Doty searching for the illegal snares and were able to seize more trapping equipment that he had in his possession.

According to an arrest warrant served on Friday, January 29, 2010, Doty is charged with: "16 counts of illegal trapping; violation of regulations for taking a wild quadruped; failure to carry written consent of the landowner while trapping; illegal trapping of a bobcat; 3 counts of criminal mischief 3rd degree; 2 counts of criminal trespass 3rd degree; and violation of regulations for hunting by a minor."

It was also discovered that Doty had allegedly been trapping on the property without permission of the property owner. "Evidence seized at the scene and equipment seized from Doty was brought to the State Police Forensic Laboratory in Meriden where forensic examination of the evidence positively linked Doty to the illegal trapping activity."

Doty was released from custody on the written promise to appear in court scheduled on February 8th in Bantam.

Bobcats are a medium sized feline about double the size of the house cat. They are known to be more active during dusk and the period just before dawn, and prefer habitats such as hardwood forests, rock outcroppings, and farm lands. The bobcat's diet consists mostly of rabbits, woodchucks, squirrels, chipmunks, mice, voles, deer, and birds. But they are also know to feed on insects, reptiles and domestic animals such as poultry, small pigs, sheep, goats and housecats.

In the 1970's, the Connecticut DEP, concerned that the bobcat may become overharvested because of the increased demand for it's pelt, classified the feline as a protected furbearer with no hunting or trapping allowed. This protection is still in effect today.

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