Upstate NY Man Admits to Baiting and Killing Rare White Deer
The DEC announced that it settled a case with a hunter in Upstate NY that was accused of baiting and killing a rare white deer. There are only 700 in the world.
Their bright white coats make them difficult to hide, and occasionally they do wander onto people's properties, but they are so treasured and cherished, hunters know to leave them alone.
And despite being attractive prey for predators, Upstate NY has the largest population of white deer anywhere in the world, but sadly, there's one less according to the DEC.
How did the DEC find out about the deer?
The case started in November 2022, when a hunter at a taxidermy shop in Oswego when reported seeing a white deer cape and antlers.
Recognizing it was one of the Seneca White Deer, it was then reported to the DEC.
How did they track down the hunter who shot and killed it?
According to the report, the investigation lasted months, but eventually, the DEC was able to narrow it down to at least one individual they claimed was responsible.
The hunter then showed officers where he shot the deer, passing two bags of feed along the way.
According to the DEC, "the hunter claimed he didn’t know how the bags of feed got there" but trail cameras showed otherwise.
The video, according to the report, "showed a hunter and someone else placing the bags there and the white deer eating from them."
"The hunter then admitted to baiting the deer in order to poach it, the DEC said." MyTwinTiers.com
The man responsible was charged with illegally taking a deer, hunting with the aid of bait, and intentionally feeding deer. The case has been settled with a Consent Order; the hunter paid $650 in penalties and the antlers were given to the DEC.
Where are they?
These deer are indigenous to Seneca, NY about 3 hours west of Albany. Situated between Syracuse and Rochester, while they may roam a bit, they pretty much stay in one area. The Seneca white deer live within the confines of the former Seneca Army Depot in Seneca County, New York.
Contrary to belief, they are not albino deer. These deer possess a dominant gene that is passed from generation to generation that keeps their coat very white.
It is believed that in the 1950s GIs on the Army base were instructed to NOT shoot the white deer, and as a result, they've grown in population. Sources say that of the 700 in the world, 300 of them are in Seneca Falls.
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