A two-year investigation by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Environmental Conservation Officers uncovered an illegal venison sales operation in the town of Edmeston, in Otsego County.
Members of DEC’s Bureau of Environmental Crimes Investigation unit executed a search warrant recently at a butcher shop called Farmers Place (256 County Highway 20) and found more than 3,600 pounds of illegal venison meat and products.
The owner Joseph Leonard, 73, known as “The Deer Man,” was arrested and charged with Felony Illegal Commercialization of Wildlife, Felony Grand Larceny, Criminal Solicitation 4th degree, and Felony Illegal Scheme to Defraud 1st Degree after he allegedly sold illegal venison products to undercover investigators.
The manager of the company, Tamra Hoag, 57, was also arrested and charged with Illegal Commercialization of Wildlife and Illegal Scheme to Defraud 1st Degree. Both Leonard and Hoag were arraigned in the Town of Edmeston criminal court and are due back in court on June 6 at 6 p.m.
It is illegal to sell white-tailed deer meat and deer parts in New York State.
Discover intriguing facts about and high-quality images of whitetail deer with the Whitetails 2016 Daily Calendar. Gain insight into deer traits, behavior, and more with new whitetail trivia every day. This desktop whitetail calendar is great for any hunter or enthusiast seeking out compelling information and captivating images of your number one deer, the whitetail.
- How deer adapt to deep snow and cold weather
- The types of cover doe groups prefer for bedding areas
- What causes bucks to grow non-typical antlers
- Survival traits and tricks of young fawns
- Mature buck behavior throughout the year