An 8-foot-wide pile of corn and a block of salt is a sure way to attract white-tailed deer, and it’s also a good way to attract a state game warden.
Gerald Hufford, 47, of Stockton, N.J., and his son Gerald Hufford Jr., are accused of attempting such a tactic. They’re among six people recently charged with illegal hunting tactics targeting deer and turkeys in Montgomery County, according to the Department of Environmental Conservation.
DEC Region 4 spokesman Rick Georgeson said hunting rules are in place to help the state manage its population of wild game.
“They’re also put in place in the spirit of fair chase,” Georgeson said.
The DEC said Officer Jason DeAngelis received an anonymous complaint that two people from New Jersey brought two pickup truckloads of corn onto property on Mahr Road in the town of Root on Oct. 16.
That was the day before the bowhunting season for deer opened. The next day, DeAngelis and Officer Chris Valenty said they found the Huffords sitting in tree stands above a large pile of corn and a salt block.
Neither men have hunting licenses, according to the DEC. Each was charged with hunting over bait and hunting without big game hunting licenses. They were issued appearance tickets returnable to Root Town Court on Nov. 9.
In an unrelated case, two men from the town of Glen were charged Oct. 17 with poaching three white-tailed deer.
Nunziante “Nunzio” Santoli, 36, and Gerald Harrington, both of Fultonville, were charged with possessing a loaded gun in a motor vehicle, discharging a firearm from a public highway, taking big game during the closed season, taking wildlife from a motor vehicle, hunting big game without a license and hunting big game during closed hours, according to the DEC.
The charges stem from a complaint that the men shot and killed a deer from a vehicle in the town of Sharon.
DeAngelis already received a complaint in September alleging somebody shot a deer off Mapletown Road in the town of Canajoharie on Sept. 19.
Officers said they confiscated deer meat from the September poaching, secured one of the deer from the October poaching and seized a .22 Magnum rifle during the investigation. Both men are due in Canajoharie Town Court on Nov. 12.
In another unrelated case, two downstate men are accused of shooting wild turkeys out of a vehicle.
Salijo Sefovic, 53, and Safet Muratoviv, 39, both of New York City, are charged with discharging a firearm on or over a road, carrying a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle and two counts each of failing to tag a turkey.
The charges stemmed from an investigation into a tip Oct. 10 that two people were seen shooting two turkeys on Hess Road in the Town of Minden.
Two dead birds and a spent shell casing were secured and officers were given a license plate number that led to Sefovic.
An administrative settlement is being considered in the case, and Muratoviv and Sefovic each face the possibility of a $1,000 fine and the loss of their hunting licenses, according to the DEC.
Georgeson said environmental conservation officers have been gearing up for the fall hunting season and can be expected to be watching for violations.