WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Police in West Springfield say
they’ve identified a man who’s been illegally hunting deer at
Mittineague Park, in part because he posted about it on his Facebook
According to a news release sent to 22News by the West Springfield
Police Department, Agawam resident Terry Ross, 21 has been charged with
violating two town ordinances (for hunting and carrying a weapon inside
the park) and attempting to commit a crime (hunting for antlerless deer
without a permit.)
The hunter spoke to 22News reporter Heidi Voight exclusively, and
claims he's being falsely accused and targeted.
There's a reason why hunting is not allowed anywhere in Mitteneague
“You have families out walking, using the park,” explained Victoria
Connor, Director of Parks and Recreation in West Springfield. “It
certainly doesn't mix well with having hunters in the same location.”
After numerous witnesses reported sightings of hunters to the Parks
and Recreation department, a Park Watch group was formed. Soon after,
West Springfield Police began a year-long investigation to snare the
“We went up there to investigate ourselves,” Police Sergeant Robert
Duffy told 22News, “and we did find evidence of deer stands and deer
Now West Springfield Police say they’ve pinpointed at least one
responsible: 21 year old Terry Ross of Agawam. Ross denies all the
claims, telling 22News he’s a licensed hunter who follows the rules, and
has never hunted in the park.
Police say witnesses saw Ross drag a deer out of the park on October
On that same day, he posted a picture of a dead deer on Facebook
along with the caption "thought it was a doe." That's why he's facing
charges of attempting to kill an antlerless deer without the proper
permit. Ross showed the photo to 22News along with antlers he claim
match the antlered deer pictured.
“I didn’t shoot a doe,” Ross said. “I wouldn't shoot a doe. I thought
when it came in it was a doe, but then I saw the antlers and I said
okay, I can shoot that.”
The hunter also said he was near Mitteneague Park when he took that
shot, but wasn’t inside the borders. Instead, he explained, the deer ran
towards Mitteneague before dying, and that's where he retrieved it. But
police say surveillance equipment will prove otherwise.
Since this is an active case, police couldn’t confirm the type or
location of the surveillance equipment. Terry Ross will be able to see
the evidence against him firsthand when he heads to court.
Ross' stepdad is outraged by these charges, claiming it's a personal
vendetta against his family stemming from a dispute he had with city
officials. But police say it was concerned citizens who brought this
case to light... and that they have nothing against hunters.
“We have hunters on our police department,” said Sergeant Duffy.
“They just follow the rules.”
Ross insists he's an ethical hunter, and says he's not removing his
Facebook pictures because he has nothing to hide. He'll be arraigned at
a later date not yet announced.
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