By Robin Brown
An investigation of illegal wild turkey hunting led to the arrest of a Sussex County who admitted his poaching, state wildlife enforcement officials said Thursday.
Ronald A. Buggenhagen, 74, of Frankford, was arrested Monday, said Cpl. John McDerby, spokesman for the Division of Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Natural Resources Police.
Authorities did not disclose how the investigation began, but McDerby said Buggenhagen was poaching the turkeys on private property in the Frankford area.
Buggenhagen was charged with two counts each of taking over-the-limit of wild turkeys and failing to check a wild turkey, along with single counts of hunting wild turkeys over a baited area, unlawful possession of wild birds and unlawful possession of wild birds for parts of raptors killed without a permit.
He pleaded guilty to all charges in Justice of the Peace Court 2 in Rehoboth Beach.
He was fined $1,755 and banned from hunting turkeys in Delaware for two years.
Buggenhagen – believed to have acted alone in the illegal hunting – also forfeited three wild turkey beards, a turkey tail fan and a hawk tail fan, all seized as evidence, McDerby said.
“We will probably put them on display in our Operation Game Theft trailer that we take around for educational purposes,” he said.