NJ Uses ‘Robodeer’ to Catch Illegal Night Hunters
State officials recently announced arrests of illegal hunters and poachers who were baited by so-called "robodeer" — decoys that look real enough to shoot at.
Director Larry Herrighty of the state Division of Fish and Wildlife, says three accused poachers were nabbed just recently.
"For safety reasons, we do not want people out there at night shooting where they cannot see beyond their target," he said.
"The idea here is that we have some wildlife poachers that would go out at night with spotlights, shine the spotlight into fields and see the glow of the reflection of the deer's eyes. Shooting a deer at night, obviously, that is illegal."
Herrighty says they have been using the deer decoys to catch illegal hunters for at least 38 years, and they have become more sophisticated.
"We do not do it as a deterrent, we do it to catch them, and we are doing it for public safety reasons," he said.
Herrighty said the violation penalties from $100 to $500 are not high enough to be enough of a deterrent.