According to the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), it is legal to hunt turkey during the spring and fall hunting season as long as you have your hunting license and a turkey permit. It is illegal however to take or hunt wildlife while in or on a motor vehicle. Even if the turkey you shot is NOT a turkey.

A New York man recently did just that. Shot a turkey from his vehicle, but it wasn't a turkey. So, what was it and was he still charged?

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On Friday May 5, 2023, according to DEC officials, a turkey hunter was legally hunting in Bear Spring Mountain Wildlife Management Area in Delaware County, NY. While there he noticed a vehicle drive by and a few moments later the driver discharged a 12-guage shotgun from his vehicle hitting a turkey.

Pretty quickly the driver realized he hadn't killed a turkey, he shot a turkey decoy! The legal hunter placed decoys in the woods and this guy shot one. Realizing his blunder the driver sped away.

DEC Officers were notified and launched an investigation. Officers started by patrolling the area for the next couple of day and it finally paid off when they noticed a vehicle fitting the description.

During the investigation officers noticed a 12-guage shotgun and other evidence while interviewing the individual, who initially denied shooting the decoy. Officers left only to return for a re-interview and that is when the suspect admitted shooting, what he thought was a real turkey, from his vehicle.

Getty Images
Getty Images

The suspect has been ticketed with;

  • Possessing a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle
  • Hunting with the aid of a motor vehicle

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