Off-duty ECO helps bust illegal hunters

An off-duty state Department of Environmental Conservation officer recently helped bust a pair of hunters who were operating illegally in the Essex County town of Chesterfield.

On the morning of Saturday, May 18, ECO Jeff Hovey received a call from an off-duty law enforcement colleague who had heard four shots near his house. The off-duty employee found two hunters with decoys set up on state land next to his own property. The hunters had one untagged turkey and were still hunting.

After an investigation, it was determined the hunter had shot the turkey within 500 feet of the officer’s house. That hunter was issued tickets for failure to tag a turkey carcass as required and discharge of a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling. The turkey carcass was seized, and the tickets are returnable to the Chesterfield town court.