New York deer hunter prosecuted in city's first poaching case

The first ever prosecution for deer poaching has occurred in New York city. The hunter appears to have armed himself with a crossbow as he waged a war on the deer population at Staten Island for the past two years.

Deer hunting on Staten Island

Deer hunting on Staten Island Image by Caroline Granycome / CC BY 2.0

The accused man is reported to have stalked his prey across parks and wood areas of the neighbourhood which is densely populated.

Disguising himself in camouflage, he attempted to bait the deer with corn and other types of food while having his crossbow weapon at the ready.

The man who headed the investigation for the Department of Environmental Conservation, Edward J. Piwko, said that no one had ever quite seen anything like it in New York city.

Officers began examining what was happening two years ago after 12 headless carcasses turned up around Staten Island.

A team of officials spent over a year tracking down the mystery deer slayer and found that he struck at night to avoid detection. They congregated at sunset in small teams using night-vision goggles and thermal imaging tools to see in the dark.

While they operated, a further dozen deer were slaughtered, but there was still no sign of the hunter until last November when the investigators got their break.

The New York Post reports that they spotted the accused man putting out piles of corn in Schmul Park and when confronted he allegedly confessed right away.

He is due to appear in Criminal Court in Stapleton and could face up to 12 months in prison if found guilty.

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