DURHAM — A Newmarket man was convicted Thursday in the 10th Circuit District Division Court in Brentwood on several charges related to illegal hunting.
Mark Hayden, 55, was convicted on two counts of hunting under revocation and one count of possessing a deer, second offense. The charges are Class B misdemeanors. Hayden was also charged with four Fish and Game violations, including placing bait for deer during a closed season, not attaching a deer tag to a deer immediately after taking, possessing a deer that has not been legally registered within 24 hours, and taking a deer with bow and arrow with arrows not marked with name and address.
The charges stemmed from a complaint about illegal deer baiting during the fall. During the ensuing investigation, an illegal deer kill was discovered.
Fish and Game conservation officers obtained a search warrant and went to Hayden's home on Oct. 24. Hayden's privilege to hunt was under suspension from a previous Fish and Game hunting violation in 2013.
Hayden was not home, but his vehicle was observed in nearby woodlands. Conservation Officer Mark Hensel and his K-9 partner Sig then tracked the suspect to a treestand in the wooded area, from which Hayden was hunting with a bow and arrow.
After locating Hayden, conservation officers executed the search warrant and searched Hayden's home and property, where they located evidence linking him to the illegal bait site and deer kill.
Hayden pleaded guilty to the three Class B misdemeanors charges, lost his privilege to buy a hunting license for three years, and was fined more than $2,400 for the Fish and Game violations.
If you are you aware of a poaching situation, or have witnessed a wildlife crime, call Operation Game Thief at 1-800-344-4262 or report online at http://wildnh.com/OGT.