A hunter admitted Thursday to illegally killing a black bear out of season in New Jersey, then covering up the crime by staging a fake kill site in New York, where the kill was legal.
On Oct. 5, 2012, 36-year-old Martin Kaszycki killed the 450-lb. bear out of hunting season after setting up an elaborate trap, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a news release. He then drove the bear across state lines into New York, where hunting season had already begun. There, he told a weigh station employee he’d killed the animal in Sterling Forest State Park in New York. Kaszycki then took the bear’s hide and skull to Pennsylvania to have it mounted as a trophy.
But, on Oct. 10, 2012, officers from the N.J. Division of Fish and Wildlife questioned Kaszycki about the kill. He lied, again stating that he’d killed the bear legally in New York.
That night, Kaszycki took the bear’s guts to Sterling Forest State Park and staged a kill site, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. When the N.J. Division of Fish and Wildlife officers showed up the next day, he offered to lead them to the fake kill site. The officials were not convinced.
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Kaszycki pleaded guilty to two charges of violating the Lacey Act, which prohibits the interstate transport of wildlife taken or possessed in violation of any state law or regulation, as well making a false record.
He faces one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.