Operation Dark Night Rounds Up 137 NY Poachers

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New York's Department of Environmental Conservation recently wrapped up a coordinated effort to bust poachers spotlighting deer. The take down called "Operation Dark Night" occurred from October 1st through November 19th. The DemocratAndChronicle.com has a complete write up on the round up.

With any luck, "a strong message was sent that such illegal practices will not be tolerated," said Peter Fanelli, director of law enforcement for New York's Department of Environmental Conservation. During Operation Dark Night there were 10 instances of individuals arrested for killing a deer at night using an artificial light. But there were also 79 instances in which officers caught the poachers in the act of using a spotlight but made the arrest before the deer was shot.


hawkeye270's picture

Congratulations to New York's

Congratulations to New York's Department of Environmental Conservation for nailing that many bad guys. I like the name "operation dark knight" as well... they must of been pretty darn creative in the first meeting discussing the operation. I hope that it sent the poachers in this area, and neighboring areas, that this sort of dangerous, unlawful and unethical behavior will not be tolerated. Sadly, like the article stated, most of those caught are repeat offenders and just do not seem to care. They will go right back to doing it. I do not know why these guys do not seem to get the message. It is a little strange that a lot of night poachers get addicted to the thrill that they get from breaking the law. Maybe the maximum punishment (including jail time) should be used to get their attention. Most judges do not usually use the maximum penalty on poachers. If a guy keeps doing the same thing again and again... I say light him up and send him to jail. Let him think about if its worth poaching deer for a year.

Ca_Vermonster's picture

Fully agreed Jim!  There is

Fully agreed Jim!  There is little chance that these guys are innocent, and they should all be thrown in jail. 

And as you said, combined with the other articles about the "ethics" of hunting, and hunting numbers being in decline, we don't need to make any more enemies in this fight,.  And that's just what these violators are doing, painting us all in a bad light!

jim boyd's picture

Put 'em all in Jail!

Great work New York - put them all in jail.

There is likely very little chance that these guys - any of them - were innocent... there could be a few cases where perhaps they were looking for a previously injured deer or something to that effect - but it does not seem likely. In cases, like this - the evidence and explanations should get them off of the hook.

What is sad is that most states have cut the budgets of the DNR and game wardens so badly that enforcement for offenses like this has been severaly curtailed.

We have seen these cuts deeply in the south and I suspect that other parts of the nation have also.

Poaching like this really hurts in many ways.

First of all - law abiding citizens are deprived of potentially taking a deer that is poached...

Most of the deer they target are generally big bucks - if they shine a field and there are 10 deer out there and one of them is a big eight pointer - which one do you think gets shot?

The biggest one, of course...

Next up is the fuel that this gives tot he anti hunters and animal rights activist groups.

We DO NOT NEED any negative publicity and this just fans the flames of an already very volatile fire... we are hurting ourselves in so many ways where "we" do this - and bear this in mind... it IS hunters that are doing it...

Then comes into play the bad feelings it creates for land owner, lease holders, farmers and the folks that live adjacent to areas that are being poached on...

This certainly does not endear us to them and darn sure does not open doors for us to hunt more land... it shuts doors down in a big way.

In the end, this is a heck of a lot more than a deer that was shot - this is a cancer that infects and slowly kills part of the very sport that we spend so much time trying to perpetuate.

Like I said, - put them all in jail.