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FOUR CHARGED WITH HUNTING DEER BEFORE SEASON

Posted on Mon, Dec. 08, 2003

Associated Press

WOODBINE, N.J. - Four Cape May County men have been charged with poaching deer near Belleplain State Forest just days before the state's deer-hunting season.

Nathan Guest of Dennis Township, James Kern of Lower Township, and Robert Phelon Jr. and Steven Mills, both of Middle Township, were charged with taking deer out of season, hunting with the aid of a car, hunting with an illegal weapon, and hunting after hours, authorities said.

The men were found allegedly scouting deer last week by a conservation officer who was investigating reports of poaching in northern Cape May County.

Such scouting is legal if hunters are unarmed. Conservation officer Doug Ely said two .22-caliber rifles had been found in the men's trucks.

Poachers like to use the small-caliber rifle because it makes less noise when fired, Ely said.

New Jersey's shotgun deer season begins today.

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