By David Figura | firstname.lastname@example.org The Post-Standard on April 14, 2017 at 12:30 PM, updated April 14, 2017 at 1:32 PM
A trio of duck hunters who were ticketed earlier this year for poaching on Owasco Lake after it was discovered they shot 35 redhead ducks were handed fines recently totaling $2,285.
The case was handled by Town Justice Brian Dugan in Scipio Town Court. The president of a local duck hunting group called the fines "way too lenient."
The daily take limit for this species is two redhead ducks per hunter.
According the DEC, ""On Jan. 15, off duty ECOs Scott Angotti and Josh Crain were waterfowl hunting on Owasco Lake in the town of Scipio when they observed three individuals shoot a large group of redhead ducks swimming into the men's decoy spread.
"The three subjects all emptied their shotguns into the flock, killing a total of 35 redhead ducks and possibly wounding several others.
"Angotti and Crain immediately contacted local ECO Scott Sincebaugh, approached the three hunters, and identified themselves as ECOs. ECO Sincebaugh arrived a short time later and issued the hunters tickets."
The case was recently handled in Scipio Town Court by Town Justice Brian Dugan.
The final disposition of the tickets and fines the hunters must must pay are:
*Paul Phillips, Bennetts Corners Rd, Holley, NY. Fined $650 for two tickets: taking over the the aggregate limit of ducks, as well as taking over the daily limit of redheads.
*Dan Symula, Chase Ave, Lyndhurst, NY. Fined $650 for two tickets: taking over the the aggregate limit of ducks, as well as taking over the daily limit of redheads.
*Craig Gooding, Lawrence Rd, Brockport, NY. Fined $985 for five tickets: taking over the the aggregate limit of ducks, taking over the daily limit of redheads, hunting without a license, not participating in the Harvest Information Program and possession of a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle.
The latter charge is a misdemeanor.
Ron Falkowski, president of the CNY Wildfowlers, a 125-member group that hunts ducks and other migratory waterfowl, said the consensus among all local duck hunters he's talked to is that the judge was "way too lenient" in this case.
He said for most duck hunters redheads "are a trophy duck."
"And for the amount of birds they took - and one guy not having a license or a duck stamp. C'mon," he said. "If this would have happened in (the state of Maine) or some other state, they would have seized their gun, truck - everything."