Tupper Lake man pleads guilty to illegal trapping

TUPPER LAKE – A Tupper Lake man pleaded guilty last week to 31 violations of Environmental Conservation Law related to illegal trapping.

State Department of Environmental Conservation police charged Terry J. Hurteau, 56, on Feb. 11 with offenses including unlawfully setting 15 snares for coyote, multiple counts for unlawful use of body-gripping traps on land and multiple counts of failing to tag traps.

Environmental conservation officers initially responded to complaints about a coyote running through the yard of a Tupper Lake residential property. The callers reported that the coyote appeared injured and tangled in what appeared to be wire, according to a DEC press release.

ECOs found the coyote by tracking it through the snow. Due to the extent of its injuries and its entanglement in the snare, they euthanized it. They were able to use the snare to begin the investigation, which led them to Hurteau.

Hurteau appeared in Tupper Lake town court on March 6 and pleaded guilty to all charges. He was ordered to pay a total of $3,875 in fines and surcharges.

DEC officials said Hurteau’s activities were extreme and flagrant violations of trapping law and do not reflect the behavior of the vast majority of ethical trappers.