DUTCHESS COUNTY N.Y. -- A New York Department of Environmental Conservation officer is recovering at a local hospital after he was shot by a hunter who mistook him for a deer in Pine Plains on Tuesday, according to the New York State Police.
The shooting occurred around 5 p.m. when DEC officers Lt. Eliza Bobseine and Officer James Davey were investigating a complaint of a reported trespass with shots fired in the area on Silvernails Road when they came upon fresh tire tracks, state police said.
While walking through the field, Davey was shot one time with a rifle in the area of his pelvis. The shooter, Alan Blanchard, 55, of Columbia County and his hunting partner, James Brown of Pine Plains, remained at the scene and assisted with rescue efforts, state police added.
An investigation determined Blanchard’s reckless conduct led to the accidental shooting of Davey who underwent surgery and is recovering at Mid-Hudson Regional Hospital, said DEC Public Information Officer Benning DeLaMater.
Davey is a 12-year veteran of the force and currently is assigned to patrol Columbia County. He also serves as a certified firearms instructor for the DEC. Davey is married to New York State Forest Ranger Nancy Davey.
New York State Police were assisted by New York State Environmental Conservation Police. Town of Pine Plains Fire Department Rescue Squad and Northern Dutchess paramedics responded to scene and provided medical services and transportation to the hospital.
Blanchard, who was charged with second-degree assault, is being held at the Columbia County Jail without bail. He is scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 8.