Instagram Photo Leads to Hefty Fines For Local Men Caught Capturing Young Deer

The young men all came from Riverhead Town.

Photo Credit: Instagram
Photo Credit: Instagram
NORTH FORK, NY – An Instagram photo led to hot water for four local young men who are facing hefty fines after they were caught capturing two deer fawns and posting pics of their caper.

According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the four young men face up to $1700 in fines after posting the photos on Instagram. 

“The pursuit and capture of native wildlife is not tolerated in New York State,” DEC Regional Director Peter A. 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, and DEC’s environmental conservation offices deserve recognition for their successful pursuit of this case.”

On Oct. 31, DEC environmental conservation officers were provided with two images captured from Instagram, an online photo-sharing site, after an anonymous complaint, the DEC said.

The photos revealed the men posing with a live yearling whitetail deer. In both pictures, one man, George Salzmann, 18, of Calverton, was holding the "stressed" deer, the DEC siad.

On Nov. 1, 2013, environmental conservation officers recognized Salzmann and three friends at a local business in Calverton and questioned them about the deer.

Presented with evidence, Salzmann eventually admitted he captured two deer, the DEC said; an investigation revealed that Salzmann captured the deer along Grumman Boulevard in Calverton. 

Salzmann's friends, Conor Lingerfelt, 19, of Jamesport, Joseph Sacchitello, 20, of Riverhead, and Anthony Infantolino, 20, of Wading River, were all involved with the illegal capture of the second deer, the DEC said. 

The ECOs said the men caught the deer for "a thrill," using a vehicle to chase down and capture at least one of the deer alongside a fence on Hulse Landing Road.

Tickets were issued for the illegal take and pursuit of protected wildlife, white tailed deer, and for failing to tag a six point buck deer head that Salzman possessed at his home. All tickets are violations that carry a potential fine of up to $250 each. The young men are to appear at Riverhead Justice Court on Nov. 27.

According to the DEC, the deer were brought back to a residence in Wading River where they were released, to the best of the DEC's knowledge, unharmed.

George Salzmann III, also of Calverton, said he wanted to set the record straight. His grandson, he said, tried to help the deer. "I agree he shouldn't have taken it to his house, but he is a good boy. He does a lot for conservation; he hunts deer and gives them to food banks."

In addition, Salzmann said his grandson does not have "illegal" deerheads or tags; one deer ran into the side of his truck and in that case, he said, "you are allowed to keep that deer."

All native species of wildlife are protected under New York State law. The pursuit and capture of any native wildlife is illegal without an appropriate permit. These actions cannot only significantly stress or injure a wild animal, but also may endanger the individual attempting to capture the animal, the DEC said. In addition, certain wildlife are not well suited for life in captivity and may carry diseases that can be transmitted to people, the DEC said.

Individuals who spot illegal activities are encouraged to call DEC’s Environmental Conservation Police at (631) 444-0250 during business hours, and 1-877-457-5680 or 1-800-TIPP-DEC at all other times to report suspected illegal activities.


Chad Jones November 14, 2013 at 09:43 AM
I saw two very small deer this morning. ON the side of the Road. had been hit by a car. and you are saying these people hurt them...ok
I See Stupid People November 14, 2013 at 09:45 AM
I say lets get in our trucks, chase and run THEM down...and drag them around and take stupid pictures. See how THEY like it!!
SHERRI SMITH November 14, 2013 at 09:53 AM
This hardly looks like a "yearling"--and to release it away from its mother was probably a death sentence.
Jim November 14, 2013 at 10:28 AM
I don't know which is worse, the four jerks or the grandfather making excuses for the wonderful boy!
Debi Dugger November 14, 2013 at 11:05 AM
Ummm...I don't know about New York but in Georgia those deer could have been shot with something other than a camera if they were just a little bigger and ground for burger! I love animals a great deal and would much rather see a photo of a deer than venison on a plate. No harm done as far as I can see! the world is getting crazier all the time!
bobibis November 14, 2013 at 11:17 AM
Wait...you can shoot a deer, but, you can't capture it and release it?
Jerame Askew November 14, 2013 at 11:48 AM
I am glad they were caught. What they did was immoral and rude. Then the grandfather lies for one of them, let them deal with the consequences of being an adult and making a stupid decision.
Nick G. November 14, 2013 at 12:14 PM
Reading these comments I feel like Im in an old foklks home. Amazing how many people forget what its like to be young and dumb. They obviously did no actual harm to the deer, at least not purposefully. Grown men do alot more damage to these deers every day
Nikki Hernandez November 14, 2013 at 12:21 PM
Exactly what is the state trying to protect? If they are trying to protect the deer, they must fine every driver who kills one. If they are trying to keep enough deer around so paying hunters have something to shoot, then catch and release is not harmful. If they are trying to protect individuals from hurting themselves, no law cures stupid. Deer is the most dangerous animal in North America, responsible for more deaths than all the bears, cougars, poisonous snakes, and alligators combined. There are way too many of them. The states need to come off their high horse that wildlife is somehow pure and innocent. It is reasonable to keep enough around to hunt and manage the populations. That is not an issue for these boys.
Rookie Williams November 14, 2013 at 12:34 PM
I couldn't figure out what in the world was happening to the normally sensible upstate New Yorkers since they were leaving all these whiny comments over a few teenagers catching and releasing two deer. Then I realized that North Fork was on the Island, and suddenly it all made sense: the do-gooder hand-wringing over a non-event, the self-righteous indignation, the out of control anthropomorphism, the call for punishment on these 'criminals' while accepting as normal all sorts of other heinous crimes committed against humans, and lastly, DEC officers who don't have real crimes to prosecute so they waste their time making an example of a few people who participated in some hijinks. Get a grip on what really matters, people.
Elena Paperny November 14, 2013 at 12:37 PM
Nikki, say hello to Tasha.
Michael Roberts November 14, 2013 at 12:53 PM
Update.....Idiot Kids = Idiot Parents = Idiot Grandparents
Russell Rutter November 14, 2013 at 01:01 PM
Give me a break.... next time shoot it or hit it with a car and avoid the fine. No wonder everyone is leaving the new england states.
Nala Kavanah November 14, 2013 at 01:24 PM
the guy is holding a Natty Ice beer in his hand. i hope he gets charged with underage drinking too! its "ok" to shoot deer because you pay for a permit, and that money goes to wildlife services to protect animals. hunting regulations change from year to year because essentially, hunting is a type of population control. Deer populations need to be controlled to minimize collisions with cars. these kids aren't "catching and releasing" a deer.. they're drinking on halloween and doing dumb stuff so they can post a "cool" picture on instagram.
Marisa Damiano November 14, 2013 at 01:50 PM
'He does a lot for conservation; he hunts deer and gives them to food banks'...That's not what I call conservation!
MIKE DUKES November 14, 2013 at 01:51 PM
I blame Obama
marcthepig November 14, 2013 at 02:26 PM
These young men are all deer lovers. So much so, they bought little French maid outfits for the fawns they captured.
Tom Eberlin November 14, 2013 at 03:11 PM
Ya what punks these kids are. They should be in the city playing the knock out game with Jews right?
Tom Ciorciari November 14, 2013 at 03:23 PM
amazing! you can kill them but you can't play with them
Richard Light November 14, 2013 at 03:35 PM
He's a good boy. Boy ??? I thought, oh never mind, grandpa says it's OK
Romans mom November 14, 2013 at 03:43 PM
Nikki & Tasha, you're missing the point here - this particular issue is not about hunting wildlife, it is about abusive (yes, holding them, confining & scaring them - that is not playing with them), cruel behavior to defenseless creatures. and separating them from their parents. how would you like that? Mike Roberts got it right....idiot kids = idiots parents = idiot grandparents. and unfortunately idiot kids also means idiot descendants.
Jeff Hayes November 14, 2013 at 04:29 PM
Legally hunting ADULT deer (or legally hunting ANY deer) is one thing (in some circumstances, young-adult/yearlings can be hunted. But taking a FAWN like that (when it may not even be totally weened from its mother) could be a death sentence for the deer, and at any rate is unnecessary and cruel wildlife harassment UNLESS the fawn were to come to the people in need of help (and when wildlife approaches YOU, you're probably in danger from it). In all likelihood, the deer fawn later died as a result of shock or disorientation to its new surroundings. Those "kids" deserved their fines -- and any with hunting licenses deserve to have them revoked for a reasonable period of time, and to be required to take extensive wildlife education classes before receiving a new one. For that matter, they should all be required to do that! Jeff Hayes
Robert Froner November 14, 2013 at 05:23 PM
I am glad that we have the capability to catch dopes messing with deer when we cannot catch millions of illegals, Welfare fraud, Medicare fraud, etc. it just warms my heart.
Romans mom November 14, 2013 at 06:29 PM
I wouldn't be surprised if there was some welfare, Medicaid, &/or Medicare fraud amongst this group of misguided young men & the people who have raised them so well - unfortunately those crimes are less likely to appear on instagram.
Barnaby S Smithfield November 14, 2013 at 07:00 PM
John Sposato November 14, 2013 at 07:33 PM
I can see Morrissey complaining about this.
Andrew Conte November 14, 2013 at 09:54 PM
Uhhhhhhhh New York is not a New England state.
Roe November 15, 2013 at 05:30 PM
Another example of what happens when young people have too much time on their hands. They should all have to do community service where they can learn compassion. Hitting them with a minor fine is not enough of a lesson.
Carrie Grover Phelps November 15, 2013 at 08:21 PM
Such assholes, have another beer.
PJ Delia December 01, 2013 at 01:40 PM
those guys are assholes


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