Man charged with night hunting after shooting at decoy

WOODSTOCK — A Rumford man is charged with shooting a robotic deer from his car Wednesday night on Concord Pond Road.

Oxford County Jail

Coty A. Beardsley

Coty A. Beardsley, 26, was arrested shortly before 6 p.m. after a brief chase along the rural road, according to Maine Game Warden Josh Smith's arrest report.

Beardsley is charged with night hunting, shooting from a moving vehicle, failure to stop for an officer and violation of bail conditions, all misdemeanor charges. According to the Oxford County Jail, he posted $300 cash bail and was released at 11:30 p.m. Wednesday. 

According to the arrest report, Smith was monitoring night hunting activity with a deer simulator — a robotic decoy — in the vicinity of Concord Pond Road. At about 5:47 p.m., Beardsley shot at the decoy from his 1998 Dodge Stratus and drove away, ignoring Smith's commands to stop. Beardsley was located a short distance down the road and arrested less than 10 minutes later.

Maine law prohibits hunting wild animals from a half hour after sunset until a half hour before sunrise. Convictions for night hunting carry a mandatory $1,000 fine and three days in jail. 

Wardens use robotic decoys simulating a variety of animals to catch poachers or illegal hunters, but are tight-lipped on how the simulators are deployed. Maine Warden Service Cpl. John MacDonald said Thursday that wardens' use of simulators is considered a confidential investigative technique.

Beardsley also is facing charges of operating under the influence, driving to endanger and failure to stop for an officer after crashing his vehicle into a utility pole on Franklin Street in Rumford on Aug. 25 and speeding away from police. He pleaded not guilty to the charges in Rumford District Court in September and is due to appear in Oxford County Superior Court in Paris on Jan. 8.

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Another Great Northern Woods

Another Great Northern Woods Law episode.

Jon Cantin's picture

I hope it's on video!

I hope it's on video!

Jon Cantin's picture

Someone standing near me just

Someone standing near me just said he looks "Squatchy"

ERNEST LABBE's picture

I have seen

I have seen one of these decoys. They look real when your driving past, however stopping and watching it for a moment is all it takes to figure out it's not real. no I am not a hunter. I was just amazed a big buck would be standing on the side of the road grazing in a dirt parking lot.

Thomas Jenkins's picture

Man charged with night hunting after shooting at decoy

I suspect Mr. Beardsley was not the Valedictorian of his high school class.

Gary Grenier's picture

Mr. Beardsley

Great name for a man with a great mane.


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