Four Suffolk County men are facing fines for capturing two young deer in Calverton and uploading photos of them posing with the fawns on Instagram—a spur of the moment decision that could end up costing the foursome up to $1,700 in fines.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation police officers discovered the photos in the social media photo sharing application after receiving an anonymous complaint on Oct. 31, the DEC said. The two Instagram photos show the men posing with a yearling whitetail deer, the DEC said.
“The pursuit and capture of native wildlife is not tolerated in New York State,” DEC Regional Director Peter Scully said. “Although these young men may have thought their actions were harmless and trivial, serious consequences can occur due to these types of actions. Wildlife can be dangerous and unpredictable.”
Eighteen-year-old George Salzmann of Calverton, identified in both photos holding the “stressed deer,” the DEC said, admitted to capturing the deer after he was approached by DEC officers on Nov. 1.
His three friends—19-year-old Conor Lingerfelt of Jamesport, Joseph Sacchitello of Riverhead and Anthony Infantolino of Wading River, both 20—were also involved capturing a second deer, the DEC said.
Officers later determined that the men had captured the deer “out of thrill,” the DEC said, adding that a vehicle was used to chase down one of the deer alongside a fence on Hulse Landing Road.
They were ticketed for the “illegal take and pursuit of protected wildlife,” the DEC said. They are scheduled to appear at Riverhead Justice Court later this month.
This news comes about two weeks after a deer galloped through the front window of a Patchogue restaurant, causing the eatery’s owner to fear that a robber had broken in.