Share this article

print logo

Outdoors notebook: Wildlife violation charges may be a record

An investigation into illegal possession of wildlife resulted in numerous violations issued on Feb. 10 to John P. Volpe, 62, of Attica.

When Department of Environmental Conservation and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service personnel executed a warrant to search the Volpe residence, officials cited him with unlawful possession of more than 100 snapping turtles, several species of owls, including three great-horned owls, many hawk species, including six red-tailed hawks, a variety of songbirds, including three robins, and various aquatic birds, including a great blue heron.

DEC Region 9 Captain Frank Lauricella noted that the Volpe residence in Attica was not remarkable in size.

Volpe faces federal charges for taxidermy work done on migratory waterfowl species.

Lauricella said that these 190 wildlife violations were the highest count in which he was involved as a DEC enforcement officer.

Retired State Supreme Court Justice Joseph Forma recalled a similar case occurring in the late 1970s in which a Buffalo taxidermist went out and illegally killed bird species to be mounted for clients. That case did not involve the number of violations cited for Volpe, but investigators discovered illegal songbird mounts when investigating other bird kills.

Volpe had been cited in 2005 for possession of two live birds of prey but refused to complete certification as a wildlife rehabilitator; he is not cited for illegally shooting wildlife for his taxidermy business.

He told another news reporting source that as a Native American “Turtles mean a lot to us,” but he later refused to answer questions when contacted.

Musky banquet

Four outdoors groups have banquet gatherings scheduled on Saturday, April 5, but the Niagara Musky Association is setting a big stage for its 20th Annual Awards Banquet to be held at Pearl Street Grill and Brewery from 6 to 11 p.m. that evening.

NMA President Scott McKee said, “The other groups are all worthy, but you just can’t miss this one.” For banquet details and reservation information, call 225-3816.

Ice chunks

Ice-fishing season for walleye and northern pike ended March 15, but near-record Great Lakes ice cover and thick ice depths on inland lakes and ponds continue to provide hard-water access for area anglers.

Panfish are abundant, with perch and sunfish species moving closer to shore as daylight increases. Capt. Bob’s Ice Fishing Derby ended March 10; Look for ice-fishing updates and results from Capt. Bob’s Ice Fishing Derby detailed derby results in the Wednesday Fishing Line column.