ST. LAWRENCE COUNTY, N.Y. (WWTI) — Tracks in the snow in St. Lawrence County led Department of Environmental Conservation officers to an illegal deer take.

According to a press release from the DEC, on November 29, ECO Jackson was patrolling an area in the town of Lorraine known for deer jacking. The Officer observed a spotlight in a field a short distance from his location and moments later, heard a single gunshot ring out from the same area.

Jackson then reportedly rushed to the field, but the shooter took off into the woods. Lieutenant Bartoszewski responded to help ECO Jackson track down the culprits and identified two separate sets of shoe prints in the freshly fallen snow. The two also found a dead spike horn buck in the field.

The Officers followed the tracks through the field and into a swamp where they made their way out of knee-deep water toward a roadway where the suspects were likely picked up by a vehicle. ECO Jackson, Lt. Bartoszewski, and Investigator Malone returned to the location over the next few days and after interviewing suspected poachers, two individuals confessed.

The Officers seized the weapon used in the incident and issued appearance tickets to the shooter for the unlawful take of protected wildlife, taking whitetail deer with the aid of artificial light, and hunting during closed hours. The case is pending in the Town of Lorraine Court.