Illegal hunting lands man in court

PROSPECT — A 23-year-old Wolcott man has been charged with illegal hunting in Prospect.

Chief of Staff for Public Affairs for the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Dwayne Gardner said Nicholas Dupre, 23, of Wolcott was issued a summons on Nov. 30 for hunting and killing two deer over bait in Kathan Woods.

Dupre was charged with illegal deer hunting/hunting deer over bait, which is a misdemeanor. He appeared in Waterbury Superior Court Dec. 11. He was released on a promise to appear and is scheduled to appear in court again in January, according to online judicial records.

The hunting took place in Kathan Woods, located at the end of Boardman Drive. That 64.8 acre property was donated to the town in 2012.

Prospect Land Trust Board President H. William Rinckel said members of the land trust noticed a deer blind and blood on the ground when they were inspecting the property recently and informed the DEEP and the Connecticut State Environmental Conservation Police.

According to Gardner, the investigation led to Dupre.

Gardner said illegal hunting is typically not a large problem for the state.

“We deal with a few cases each season but not too many. By and large, hunters in Connecticut are safe, conscientious and law-abiding,” Gardner said.

Rinckel said part of the reason illegal hunting takes place at Kathan Woods is because hunting took place on the land before it was donated to the town.

“I don’t know it’s a problem throughout the town. I do know when we acquired Kathan Woods there were several deer stands we removed. People have been hunting there without permission of the previous owner,” Rinckel said.

In addition to the hunting that took place there, Rinckel said, people have been driving all-terrain vehicles throughout the woods.

“Most of our property is well respected. This particular one there is evidence of ATV traffic. It’s not prevalent throughout other properties. Before we acquired the property people did whatever they wanted there,” Rinckel said. “As the land trust took it over we enhanced trail, put trail markers, and tidied up property.”

Rinckel said the land trust has tried to dissuade people from riding motorized vehicles and littering in the woods since the land trust took over the property.

“I’d like to think since we took ownership things have died down because we’re watching for them,” Rinckel said.

Rinckel said people should contact the Prospect Police Department if they see someone hunting or riding an ATV on the property.

“Now that the Prospect Land Trust has the property under our trust we are looking out for it. That’s why people trust their property to us, we’ll take care of it. We take that responsibility very serious,” Rinckel said.