Department of Environmental Conservation Environmental Conservation Officer Maxwell Nicols reported that on the evening of April 25, he received a tip about a Facebook post showing multiple turkeys killed prior to the season opener with a subject claiming to have harvested the birds during the youth hunt weekend.
According to ECO Nicols, he located the photographer at his home, and after a conversation, the man admitted to harvesting three of the birds. When asked where the meat from the birds was, the man reportedly hung his head and looked into his kitchen, where a family member was cooking dinner. Upon further investigation, the officer determined that the subject had prior convictions barring him from possessing any firearms.
The defendant was charged with criminal possession of a weapon, taking turkeys during the closed season, and hunting turkey without turkey hunting privileges. All charges are returnable to Essex Town Court. The shotgun and remaining turkey meat were seized as evidence, and ECO Nicols said the dinner was allowed to proceed as planned.
The investigation continues into who took a fourth turkey.
Photo from a Facebook post showing the illegally hunted turkeys.