With big game hunting season ending, New York State Department of Environ-mental Conservation (DEC) Police have been policing areas and taking enforcement actions. In Western New York, 209 enforcement actions have been taken in the first two weeks of regular deer hunting season.
Lieutenant Frank Lauricella of the Region 9 New York State DEC Police issued a mid-season summary of hunting-related enforcement actions that occurred during the first two weeks of the regular deer season which runs from Nov. 19 through Dec. 2. Region 9 covers Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Erie, Niagara, Wyoming and Allegany counties.
"Since the start of regular season, Environmental Conservation Officers in Region 9 have reported a total of 209 en-forcement actions against 138 defendants, in addition to responding to 264 calls for service," Lauricella said. "Of the 209 enforcement actions, 89 were classified as misdemeanors and 55 involved the misuse of firearms. These statistics represent our ag-ency's commitment to public safety and also reflect law enforcement's role in ensuring the wise use of the state's wildlife resources."
Up to this point in the regular season, 19 hunting-related shooting incidents (HRSIs) involving personal injury occurred statewide; only one of those occurred within Region 9. Of the 16 HRSIs that have occurred statewide this season involving property damage, only four of those incidents have occurred within Region 9.
According to DEC Region 9 Sportsman Educator Ken Baginski, "Statewide, there have been less hunting-related shooting incidents this year than there were last year at this time. 2011 is actually on track to potentially become one of the statistically safest years recorded in New York state hunting history. The lowest number of personal injury HRSIs in New York was recorded in 2009 and totaled 26. With 19 HRSIs statewide so far, this year's total could potentially be even lower than it was in 2009."
As the big game season ends, DEC reminds all hunters that virtually every hunting-related shooting incident is preventable by adhering to firearm safety rules:
Assume every gun is loaded.
Control the muzzle.
Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to fire.
Be sure of your target and beyond.
Wear hunter orange.
Regular big game season ended Sunday in Region 9. Harvest reporting is required either through DEC's online reporting system at www.dec.ny.gov or by calling 1-866-GAME-RPT (1-866-426-3778). A complete version of New York's 2011 - 2012 Hunting Regulations Guide and related hunting information is available on DEC's website at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/28182.html. Anyone suspecting environmental crimes can anonymously report them to DEC's 24-hour dispatch hotline at 1-800-TIPP-DEC (1-800-847-7332).
"Environmental Conservation Officers in Region 9 have been working hard throughout this season to promote hunter safety and responsibility and to ensure that the laws protecting our natural resources are upheld," added Lauricella. "We value and appreciate the thousands of sportsmen and women in this region who consistently adhere to hunting regulations and guidelines and who pass on the traditions of safety, responsibility and conservation to the next generation."
Arrests made in Chautauqua County include the following:
Richard Strawcutter, of Panama for failing to fill out deer tag immediately upon taking in the town of Harmony.
John K. Makela, of Ontario, Canada for possessing a loaded firearm on a motor vehicle in the town of Sherman.
Wallace R. Werth, of Lockport for placing a salt block on lands inhabited by deer in the town of Ellery.
Robert W. Burgess, of Ripley for hunting big game without a big game license in the town of Ellery.
Thelma D. Pierce, of Jamestown for hunting without a license and illegal deer in the town of Ellington.
Nathan Bowers, of West Virginia for hunting without a license and illegal deer in the town of Chautauqua.
Louie Habig, of Westfield, for failure to properly tag deer as required in the town of Westfield.
Robert W. Burgess, of Ripley for hunting without a license and illegal deer in the town of Ripley.
William D. Squire, of Randolph for discharging a firearm across a roadway in the town of Conewango.
Gregory A. Kanouff, of Lakewood for failure to properly tag deer as required in the town of Busti.
Thomas E. Neiswonger, no address listed, for deer management permit (DMP) not signed over in the town of Harmony.
Edward J. Swierk, of Forestville for failure to properly tag deer as required, illegal deer, hunting in deer management unit (DMU) other than that specified on permit in the town of Sheridan.
Duane R. Congdon, of Dunkirk for failure to carry DMP tags while hunting and failure to properly tag deer as required in the town of Villenova.
Earl D. Congdon, of Forestville for failure to report deer as required and lending a regular season deer tag to another person in the town of Villenova.
Ian M. Moore, of Fredonia for taking deer with 00 buckshot and an illegal deer in the town of Pomfret.
James A. Congdon, of Dunkirk for lending a regular season deer tag to another person in the town of Villenova.
Travis S. Pangborn, of Mayville for failure to tag deer as required in the town of Harmony.
Aaron A. Troyer, of Sherman for failure to tag a deer taken in a DMU in the town of Busti.
Harvey J. Detweiler, of South Dayton for discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling in the town of Villenova.
Brian T. Reidy, of Frewsburg for failure to tag deer as required in the town of Kiantone.
Gerry Quickel, of Pennsylvania for possessing a license or tag of another person in the town of Poland.
Patricia E. Johnson, of Frewsburg for failure to fill out a DMP tag in the town of Carroll.
Thomas G. Caruso, of Jamestown for failure to carry license and tags while hunting in the town of Busti.
Anthony J. Whippo, of Frewsburg for taking a doe deer without a DMP in the town of Carroll.
David J. Bailey, of Tonawanda for use of spotlight while in possession of an unsecured firearm in the town of Arkwright.
Edward J. Swierk, of Forestville for failure to mentor youth hunter in the town of Sheridan.
Other arrests in Erie and Cattaraugus Counties include:
Raymond Preischel, of Lawtons for discharging a firearm within 500 feet of an occupied dwelling in the town of North Collins.
Robert Dentice, of Dayton for possession of a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle in the town of Collins.
Jozef C. Igielinski, of Hamburg for possessing a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle and possessing slugs afield without a license in the town of Brant.
Michael D. Strohauer, no address listed, for shooting within 500 feet of a dwelling, hunting during closed hours and illegally taking deer in the town of Dayton.