by Daniel E. Schmidt
New York – “First Winter” Actor Paul Manza was officially charged today by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation Law Enforcement Division with the illegal taking of a whitetail deer — a misdemeanor.
The ticket is returnable in Town of Hamptonburgh Court, Orange County, on May 23, 6:30 p.m.
“The defendant was cooperative,” said a DEC spokesperson. “DEC Law Enforcement did not have enough evidence to substantiate the killing of a second deer.”
According to the complaint, a bolt-action centerfire rifle was used in the incident. The spokesperson said the DEC does not have information about the make or caliber.
The fine range for the charge is $250-$2,000.
“Mr. Manza is from Campbell Hall in Orange County, N.Y., near where this all took place.”
As reported earlier today, film director Ben Dickinson recorded the scene as part of a 23-day-shoot for his film, “First Winter,” which follows a group of Brooklyn hipsters who are forced to survive in the wild after an apocalyptic event. The scene was recorded on a private farm in upstate New York last year, according to DNAinfo.com.
The crew reportedly not only killed the deer without a license, but out of deer hunting season as well.
“We are idiots. We didn’t know how to do this stuff,” DNAinfo quoted Dickinson as saying. “There were so many deer weak from the winter and getting eaten by the local dogs we didn’t even think about it.”
The crew was reportedly practicing yoga together on set when someone spotted a herd of deer in a neighboring field, DNAinfo reported. Manza, 34, grabbed the rifle and pulled the trigger.
According to DNAinfo, the bullet hit two deer, killing one and wounding the other. The crew eventually shot the second deer to put it out of its misery. The group then skinned one of the deer, cut it up and cooked it in front of the camera.
“”It was amazing to eat that meat and really feel the spirit of the animal,” Manza said. “It gave me a different relationship to eating animals and animal products.”