Conservation Officer Shot While Searching for Poachers

James Davey
Officer James Davey from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation was shot while investigating a trespassing complaint. He underwent surgery and is now in stable condition.Courtesy NYS Department of Environmental Conservation

A conservation officer is in a New York hospital after being shot while working on a deer-poaching case.

The Poughkeepsie Journal reports that officer James Davey of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation was shot in the pelvis on Tuesday night as he looked for poachers in a cornfield in Columbia County.

According to ABC News 10, Davey and a fellow officer were responding to a complaint of trespassing with shots fired. They were following tire tracks when Davey was shot.

“DEC commends the two officers for their courage in the line of duty and thank them for their service,” states the department’s press release. “On behalf of all New Yorkers, our thoughts and prayers are with the wounded officer and his family.”

Davey had surgery and is in stable condition.

Alan Blanchard has been charged with assault for shooting Davey. Initial reports by the state police called the shooting a "hunting accident," the wording of which the DEC objected to in a story published yesterday by Time Warner Cable News.

"This was not a hunter. This was someone who was poaching," DEC commissioner Basil Seggos told the station. "Hunters do not shoot in the dark. Hunters do not aim wildly. And they certainly do not shoot at our ECOs.”