Saturday, December 20, 2003
By JEAN JONES
DOWNE TWP. -- The discovery of nine illegal deer in a
Newport barn has led to the arrest of seven men who were all charged with
possession of nine deer during closed season and possession of nine deer not
Daniel L. Lewis Sr., 40, Darien E. Forrest, 32, Larry K.
Blizzard Jr., 32, Parvine E. Pierce, 62, and Horace B. Messick Jr., 38, all
of Millville, and Florentine J. Rosado, 42, of Newport and Miguel A. Perez
and Juan A. Perez, 51, both of Vineland, all were charged with the above
Conservation officer Greg Honachefsky said Blizzard,
Messick and Miguel Perez were all second offenses within five years, so they
will be subject to enhanced penalties, which could range from $5,400 to
$18,000 each in fines and penalties. The others are subject to from $1,800
to $9,000 each in fines and penalties.
Honachefsky said both he and officer Zane Batten received
anonymous telephone calls from a hunter who told them he believed there were
illegal deer in an outbuilding behind a house on Baptist Road in Newport.
About 5 a.m on Sunday, Dec. 14, the officers watched
during an icy rain from a wooded area and saw the men begin to arrive after
daybreak, carrying saws and other tools usually used to butcher carcasses.
"The information we were given appeared to be accurate and
we called and requested assistance. Officers Jeremy Trembley and Sean
Cianciulli arrived and we converged on the barn. It boiled down to a simple
knock on the door," Honachefsky said.
Asked what the men said when confronted, Honachefsky said, "There
was just a lot of silence."
The deer were hung in the barn, some skinned and gutted
and others waiting to be butchered.
"I don't think these violators realized the impact they
are having on the resource," Honachefsky said. "There are 65
deer management zones in New Jersey and often there is the perception
that the deer
population is exploding across the state and the Division of Fish and
Wildlife is trying to reduce the deer herds. Some of the zones are trying
stabilize or even increase the herds.
What these men did smacks of the 19th century ethic of
unregulated killing of wildlife, which almost led to the extirpation of deer
in New Jersey.
"There have been three reports of deer dumps of doe
carcasses, two in Millville and one in Cedarville, so how many bands
of hunters are there in the county, all unaware of each other? You start
it up and the number of illegal kills made by each of these groups and
the cumulative kill becomes significant to the population of the herd
These are breeders -- all button bucks and does.
"If you want the resource to be here in the future,
whether you want to hunt the animals, simply enjoy them by watching or just
knowing they exist at all, they need to abide by the regulations. If they
don't, then we lose a wildlife legacy that was supposed to be a gift passed
on to each generation," Honachefsky said.
He also thanked the person who made the call concerning
this most recent incident. Anyone with information on illegal hunting
practices is asked to call (856) 629-0555 or (877) 927-6337.
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