DEEP: Convicted felon, wore camo, had gun to kill coyotes
Updated 11:25 am, Friday, February 3, 2017
A convicted felon, who was found wearing camouflage while hunting coyotes, was arrested Thursday for criminal possession of a firearm.
The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection officers said Babin was wearing camouflage clothing and carrying a firearm was seen entering the woods. He was also observed not wearing any fluorescent orange, as required by law.
“Officer Patrick Kiely and his K-9 partner “Baloo,” initiated a track from the vehicle and quickly located the hunter as he exited the wood line,” DEEP posted on its Facebook page. “The hunter was found in full camouflage and not wearing any fluorescent orange. The hunter explained that he was coyote hunting and ‘forgot’ his orange.
“While speaking with the hunter, officers determined that the hunter did not have a hunting license, and that he was a convicted felon thus making him ineligible to possess a firearm,” DEEP posted.
Babin, was arrested and charged with criminal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, illegal small game hunting without fluorescent orange and hunting without a license.
The coyote hunting season runs from Jan. 2 through Dec. 30.
DEEP says coyotes were not originally found in Connecticut, but have extended their range eastward during the last 100 years from the western plains and midwestern United States, through Canada and into the northeastern and mid-Atlantic states.
“Coyotes were first reported in Connecticut in the mid-1950s. For the next 10 years, most coyote reports were from northwestern Connecticut. Coyotes eventually expanded their range throughout the entire state and are now a part of Connecticut’s ecosystem. The coyote is one wildlife species that has adapted to human-disturbed environments and can thrive in close proximity to populated areas,” according to a DEEP web page on the animals.
Baloo, the canine that helped nab the hunter, is a four-year old male Labrador Retriever. In Janury 2016, Baloo was donated from a family in upstate New York. His partner, Kiely, has been an EnCon Officer for more than two years. After several months of bonding, Kiely and Baloo began the rigorous four week tracking certification course run by the Connecticut State Police K-9 Unit.
The EnCon Police Division initiated a K-9 program in 2011 with one Labrador Retriever and three Labrador mixes. All of the current canines are trained and certified in tracking and evidence recovery. Three of the K-9s are also certified in fish and wildlife detection and one is also trained as a search and rescue.