NJ hunter took bear’s guts to NY, staged fake ‘kill site’
A Ringwood man pleaded guilty Thursday to illegally killing a black bear in New Jersey and then driving it to New York and staging a fake "kill site" there to cover his tracks.
Martin Kaszycki, 36, used the guts of the bear to make it appear as though he killed the bear in Sterling State Forest in New York, according to U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced Thursday.
Kaszycki pleaded guilty in Newark federal court to violating the Lacey Act "by transporting a bear illegally killed in Newfoundland, and then covering up the crime by making false statements."
Kaszycki killed the 450-pound male bear from a tree stand in Newfoundland, using a bow and arrow, Fishman said. The kill took place before the official start of bear hunting season in 2012.
According to prosecutors, the Ringwood man set out bait in an attempt to lure the bear within 300 feet of the elevated tree stand. Afterward, he drove the bear to New York. When he crossed state lines, he lied to a New York weigh station employee and insisted that he had killed the animal in Sterling State Forest, Fishman said.
A few days later, he took the bear's remains to a Pennsylvania taxidermist, again claiming the bear was killed in New York, Fishman said. Soon after the information was reported to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
In addition to having to surrender his hunting license, Kaszycki could face up to a year in prison during sentencing. He also faces a total of $105,000 in fines and will be required to forfeit the bear's skull and hide and pay $1,250 to the NJ Woodlands Wildlife Refuge for the care and release of orphaned and injured American black bears.