Hunting Accident File > VIOLATIONS > 2006

N.Y. & Mass hunters fined $42,000 for illegal kills

By Gary Gerhardt, Rocky Mountain News
November 30, 2006

MEEKER - Six New York hunters and a friend from Massachusetts spent a night in jail and paid $42,000 in fines for killing deer illegally near Meeker.

State Division of Wildlife spokesman Randy Hampton said someone notified game wardens there was a group of men in a black Hummer with out-of-state plates that may have illegally shot a deer on private property.

On Nov. 17, wildlife officers collected evidence and talked to people in the area.

No one witnessed the poaching, but everyone saw the Hummer cruising area roads with its occupants apparently watching deer and elk herds.

The Hummer was located at an area ranch bunkhouse along with the seven hunters, who were identified as: David Souza Jr., 49, Thomas Gray, 35, and Raymond Selah Jr., 41, all of Johnsville, N.Y.; Robert Bertholde, 54, and Timothy Rocklin, 21, both of Fort Plain, N.Y.; David Weber, 34, of Nelliston, N.Y.; and Stanley Tomkiewicz, 60, of Acushnet, Mass.

The men consented to a search of the bunkhouse and surrounding property, and wildlife officers said they found a number of animal carcasses and antlers.

Several carcasses were legally tagged, but others did not have tags, or the tags were invalid, officers said. Several of the carcasses were concealed.

The local district attorney and Division of Wildlife officers agreed to allow each of the men to plead guilty to illegal possession of wildlife, with each agreeing to pay a $6,000 fine.

They also face an administrative hearing that will determine the length of time they will be barred from hunting and fishing in Colorado and 23 other states.

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