It was the legs that first got Robert Hodor’s attention.
The state environmental conservation officer was on routine patrol in the Dutchess County town of Clinton a few days after Thanksgiving when he spotted a pair of deer hoofs sticking out of the bed of a truck.
The officer spoke to the driver who told him that he was transporting the animal for his mother and could not “get those damn legs to stay down,” according to Benning DeLaMater, public information officer at DEC headquarters in Albany.
Consignment notes are required by law then the person who shot the deer is not present, DeLaMater explained.
When the driver told Hodor he did not have one, the officer told him he was going to call his mother.
At that point, the unidentified hunter sheepishly admitted, the DEC said, that he had shot the deer and put his mom’s tag on it.
He was charged with possession the tags of another hunter and with illegally taking a deer.
His case is pending in Town of Clinton Justice Court.
In a Putnam County case that happened around the same time, it was his kid, and not his mother, that the hunter blamed.
On Nov. 24, ECO Anthony Drahms received a complaint that a man had used a shotgun to kill a buck from the road.
The caller described the man, his gun and the deer, which was a “wide six-pointer without brow tines.”
(Six-pointer refers to the number of points on the deer’s antlers, or rack; tines are the forks on the antler, and a brow tine is the first division of the antler from a deer’s head. The older the deer, the more points and tines it has.)
ECO Craig Tompkins was also called to the scene where a spent 20-gauge shotgun shell and two sets of footprints were found.
There was also evidence that a deer had been dragged, the DEC said.
After driving to the suspect’s house, the two ECOs then spotted the carcass of a buck matching the description.
The man confessed, the DEC said, to killing the animal but was adamant that he did not shoot it from the road.
The ECOs nevertheless charged the man with discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a residence, hunting with a shotgun in an archery-only area, illegally taking a deer, and improperly tagging a deer.
When asked why he did it, the ECOs said the man told them: “My son thought it was a big buck. I did it for my kid.”
The deceased animal was seized by the state. The DEC did not say exactly where the Putnam case occurred.
There are more than 70 chapters of NY Environmental Conservation Law, which protects wildlife, fish, shellfish and environment quality around the state.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.