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Hunting Accident File > VIOLATIONS: > 2003

SEVEN HUNTERS ARRESTED FOR POACHING DEER

Saturday, December 20, 2003

By JEAN JONES

Staff Writer

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 legally registered.

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 offenses.

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 to 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 to add 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 in Cumberland County.

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.

Copyright 2003 NJ.com. All Rights Reserved.

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