A Staten Island man has pleaded guilty to illegally killing a deer in what may be New York City’s first-ever poaching case.
David G. Oakes was ordered to pay $3,000 in fines after entering guilty pleas to several charges including illegal taking of a deer without a license and trespassing.
Oakes was arrested by state environmental conservation officers at Schmul Playground, in the Travis-Chelsea neighborhood on the west side of the island, on Nov. 11.
He declined comment to NBC 4 New York on Friday.
The Staten Island Advance reports that the man was nabbed after officers caught him dressed in camouflage, carrying a bow. He allegedly set up cans and bait piles to lure the deer into his sights, and had no hunting license.
The man hadn’t actually killed a deer when he was arrested, the Advance reports, but told police he had taken down an eight-point buck in the same spot a year before.
Oakes’ conviction comes as the city’s least populous borough sees an explosion in poaching instances, the Advance reports. The paper reports that at least one poacher killed a deer with a shotgun, but most illegal hunters have used crossbows and composite bows.
Hunting is illegal on Staten Island and in New York City’s other four boroughs. Westchester and Suffolk counties permit deer hunting, but only with a bow.
Deer populations have risen exponentially on Staten Island in recent years.