Four men were arrested and more than 50 guns seized in an ongoing investigation of illegal hunting, police said Wednesday.
More than 250 pounds of venison, seven crossbows and many deer racks and mounts also were seized in the investigation, which was focused in New Castle County, McDerby said.
Those arrested were identified as Michael E. Dewey, 53, and Christopher A. Griffin, 24, both of Wilmington, Jeffrey D. Callahan, 53, of Newark, and Gary L. Grose, 50, of Townsend.
All were charged with possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, an offense McDerby said could carry substantial prison time.
Because the investigation is continuing, McDerby said he could not release details of the case, including where and when the arrests were made.
Police did not disclose what past offenses led to all four being prohibited from possessing guns and ammunition.
But McDerby said that state law bans those with prior felony convictions, misdemeanor convictions associated with violent crimes, drug convictions, mental conditions as defined under the law or court-issued protection from abuse orders from having deadly weapons and ammunition.
“This prohibition means they cannot be in possession of hunting weapons, including bows or crossbows, shotguns, muzzleloaders or any deadly weapon or ammunition used for hunting,” he said.
Each of those arrested faces a variety of other charges.
Dewey also was charged with six counts of possessing illegally taken antlerless deer, six counts of possessing illegally taken antlered deer and one count of possessing unlawfully taken game. He was released on $10,500 unsecured bail.
Eight firearms and ammunition, one crossbow and about 50 pounds of venison were seized as evidence against Dewey, along with a variety of antlered deer mounts and racks, and one mounted duck, McDerby said.
Griffin was charged with six counts of possessing illegally taken antlerless deer, four counts of possessing illegally taken antlered deer, three counts of failure to tag antlered deer, two counts of possessing unlawfully taken game birds, two counts of failure to tag antlerless deer, two counts of posessing unlawfully taken game birds and unlawful use of a quality buck tag. He was released on $4,500 unsecured bail.
Thirty-six firearms and ammunition were seized as evidence against Griffin, McDerby said. Also seized were four crossbows and about 100 pounds of venison and duck meat, along with a variety of antlered deer mounts and racks, he said.
Callahan also was charged with eight counts of possessing illegally taken antlerless deer, four counts of possessing illegally taken antlered deer, marijuana possession and drug paraphernalia possession. He was released on $3,750 unsecured bail.
Four firearms and ammunition, a crossbow, about 100 pounds of venison, a variety of antlered deer mounts and racks, about 11.1 grams of marijuana and drug paraphernalia were seized as evidence against Callahan, McDerby said.
Grose was charged with two counts of possessing illegally taken antlerless deer, marijuana possession and drug paraphernalia possession. He was released on $5,500 unsecured bail.
Two firearms and ammunition, a crossbow and compound bow, about 15 pounds of venison, a variety of antlered deer mounts and racks, about 7.5 grams of marijuana and drug paraphernalia were seized as evidence against Grose, McDerby said.
Although McDerby declined to give details about the tips that started the investigation, he said, “we’re always happy to get tips like that.”
He said illegal hunting may be reported to Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police at (302) 739-4580 or to Operation Game Theft at (800) 292-3030
A panel of Minnesota lawmakers Wednesday told state wildlife officials they wanted to see more deer in the woods, especially up north.
A House committee hearing room served as the setting for what amounted to a stern talking-to by lawmakers echoing a refrain among many of the state’s half a million deer hunters: Deer populations in many areas have fallen unacceptably low, and the quality of a fall tradition is suffering.
“The deer hunters out there understand,” said Rep. Tom Hackbarth, R-Cedar, who chairs the Mining and Outdoor Recreation Policy Committee and is one of a number of deer hunters on the panel. “They go out there year after year. We know what’s going on, and we’re not seeing the deer. … What’s the problem? How did we get here? … I sat in the stand for five days and didn’t see a doe in the woods. We’ve got huge problems.”
Officials from the Department of Natural Resources got the message.
“Certainly, what we’ve heard is the harvest levels are unacceptable,” Steve Merchant, wildlife and populations manager for the DNR, told the committee.
When viewed over a century of data, the roughly 140,000 deer killed by hunters in the fall isn’t a small number. As recently as 1972, the deer population was so low that no hunting was allowed. But populations rebounded dramatically, and between 1990 and 2010, many years saw more than 200,000 deer taken.
However, the total harvest has fallen steadily since 2010. To protect the declining population, the DNR enacted strict regulations this fall, and the 2014 harvest was the lowest in two decades.
The state’s largest deer hunting advocacy group, the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association, wants to see the harvest rebound to 225,000 by 2019, Craig Engwall, the group’s executive director, told lawmakers. “With conservative seasons and good weather, we think we can achieve that,” he said.
That number prompts unease among DNR officials, who for several years sought 200,000 as a “sweet spot” for the total harvest but say severe winters have suppressed the population. While DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr has publicly stated deer numbers should be allowed to increase in much of the state, the agency has blamed the back-to-back severe winters of 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 for populations plummeting in northern parts of the state.
Brooks Johnson, president of Minnesota Bowhunters Inc. and one of the DNR’s loudest critics, told lawmakers that DNR officials have “manipulated” data to justify a “hidden agenda” of shrinking the deer population beyond what was called for a decade ago, when concerns over an overabundance of deer prompted the state to loosen hunter rules to allow more animals to be shot. “Allowing the DNR to constantly alter numbers destroys all credibility moving forward,” Johnson said.
His allegations drew sharp skepticism from several lawmakers. Merchant and DNR Wildlife Section Chief Paul Telander said indeed the agency had wanted to swiftly reduce numbers in northern forests, where deer numbers had grown to levels where they were over-browsing on young trees and threatening to prevent the state from receiving accreditation for sustainable forest management.
It’s unclear whether legislation with wide support will emerge. Several lawmakers said they would support requiring the DNR to draft a statewide deer plan similar to its plans for ducks, pheasants, ruffed grouse and other game. Others suggested a wider “audit” of the way the DNR models deer populations, similar to a process Wisconsin underwent several years ago.
Other lawmakers said putting the DNR on the hot seat was all that was needed.
“I don’t think legislators know enough about wildlife to come up with legislation,” said Rep. Tony Cornish, R-Vernon Center. “I think the whole point was to put a fire under the DNR to tell them to get something done, and we did that.”
After TheirTurn’s story about Matthew McConaughey’s hunting business went viral, TMZ, the celebrity gossip website with millions of subscribers, published a story about peoples’ outrage: “Matthew McConaughey Ranch Draws Fire Over Trapped Deer Kills.”
TMZ spoke to McConaughey’s nephew Madison, who runs the ranch:
“We reached out to Matt’s rep … so far no word back. But the actor’s nephew, Madison McConaughey — the ranch cattle manager — tells TMZ they’ve had death threats from people who don’t understand the nature of what they do. He says, ‘People are disgusted with us but we’re disgusted with them.’ Madison adds, people who come there do so for the ‘hunting experience’ and he says ‘We’re proud of what we do.’
The TMZ story has been updated with a video interview with Madison McConaughey.
In canned hunts, animals are confined to a fenced in area with no way to escape from the recreational killers and their weapons.
Here’s a photo to go along with this earlier post https://exposingthebiggame.wordpress.com/2015/01/28/three-4-year-olds-and-a-99-y-o-woman-reported-killing-deer-in-2013/
Many of you may remember this event and photo from last year:
Now it’s happened again–same place, same deer, same psychotic bloodsport. Here’s the new account and photo from the same woman who reported this last year…
“If anyone ever tells me again that the poachers “make the law abiding hunters look bad” I’m going to punch them in the face and then shoot them with an arrow. All hunting is evil. Poachers have killed 3 deer here (illegally on our property) this year. One hunter literally tried to kill me a couple of weeks ago with his truck. Last year, we had a buck (named “Buck”) suffer with an arrow in his back for two months before it came out and he miraculously healed. I wish I could have healed like he did. Buck showed up today WITH ANOTHER FUCKING ARROW in his hind end. I’m going to have a stroke. I was chasing these f#ckers since Thursday as they’ve been lurking around our property. I can’t believe Buck was shot again. I literally can’t take this. Not one more day.”
And if you need to know more about why bowhunting is sick and twisted bloodsport that should be banned, watch, A Veterinarian’s Perspective on Bowhunting:
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — A decades-long national decline in the number of hunters has prompted states to tap into a new group of hunters — people who demand locally produced food, but don’t know the first thing about bagging a deer.
Books and blogs on the topic are numerous, and state wildlife departments are offering introductory deer hunting classes in urban areas to recruit newbies who want to kill their own local, sustainable and wild meat in what some say is an ecologically friendly way.
“It’s not easy and it’s not a surefire way to fill a freezer every year but it’s certainly more rewarding than even raising a cow behind your house and butchering it,” said Chris Saunders, hunter education coordinator for the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife. The department offered an introductory deer hunting course in Burlington this fall to recruit new hunters.
The number of people holding hunting licenses nationally had dropped over the last 30 years starting in 1983, mostly because of changes in demographics, such as an aging population and more people moving into urban areas, said Mark Damian Duda, executive director of Virginia-based Responsive Management, which does surveys for federal and state fish and wildlife departments.
But hunting participation increased by 9 percent from 2006 to 2011, the latest U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s national five-year survey found, and wildlife officials around the country suspect that it’s local food connoisseurs — or locavores — partly helping to level it off.
Reasons for hunting vary — recreation, spending time with friends and family, finding a trophy buck. The number of those hunting for meat nearly doubled from 16 percent in 2006 to 35 percent in 2011, according to a national survey of 1,000 hunters published last year by Responsive Management and other outdoors agencies. The survey found that part of the increase was driven by the locavore movement.
That’s why graduate student Francis Eanes, 27, enrolled in an introductory hunting course this summer and fall in Madison, Wisconsin.
“The motivation really was something that I can do for myself as a way of knowing where my food comes from,” he said. “I’ve worked on farms for a number of years and enjoy picking and helping grow some of my own produce and it seemed like a natural extension to apply that to at least some of the meat that I eat.”
He’s slaughtered pasture-raised rabbits and chickens, and said he feels at ease about killing a deer since it’s able to roam free and grow in a natural habitat. With a clean shot, the deer dies quickly, Eanes said.
“It’s definitely easier to pull carrots or pick tomatoes, but I’m fairly confident that if an opportunity were to present itself, I’d be able to take the shot,” said Eanes, who plans to get a deer during the state’s rifle season, which started Saturday.
Success isn’t guaranteed. Saunders told his hunting class — where meat was the No. 1 motivation for the attendees — that the success rate of hunters is between 15 and 18 percent.
But for many new hunters, it goes beyond knowing where your food comes from.
They enjoy the outdoors, the skill and the unknown — and there’s no negative ecological footprint, said Tovar Cerulli, author of “A Mindful Carnivore.” The 34-year-old former vegetarian and vegan turned hunter wrote his master’s thesis on what he calls adult-onset hunting.
Deer are part of the forest where he lives in Marshfield, Vermont, he said, and if he gets one, he shares it with friends and family. The frozen meat tends to last he and his wife an entire year.
The experience of taking a piece of venison that he shot and butchered out of the freezer is more satisfying than taking out store-bought food out to cook.
“There’s such a specific and direct connection to where that came from and I know that individual animal, where it was, exactly when I killed it,” he said. “It’s all very specific and direct and personal.”
Man Thinks Dead Deer Is Alive, Shoots, Misses, Hits Another Hunter
New York state’s hunting season started off with a bang on Saturday, with its first comic shooting accident. A Duchess County man thought he had the perfect trophy in his crosshairs when he took his shot. However, there was a slight hitch: The deer was already dead, and another hunter was dragging it out of the woods. Making things even more spectacular, the shooter missed the deer altogether and instead hit the other man in the buttocks and hand.
The wounded hunter was taken to a nearby hospital and treated for non-life-threatening injuries. No word on who got to keep the highly sought after deer carcass.
Deer and bear hunting season runs until Sunday, Dec. 7. There were 19 accidents in New York state in 2013, including five hunter-on-hunter/bystander. If opening day is anything to go by, we should pull out the lawn chairs and put on some popcorn, because this year looks set to be a doozy.