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DEC statement on sentencing of Thomas Jadlowski

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Mon, Jan 14th 2019 05:45 pm

A man who had mistaken a woman for a deer while hunting illegally after sunset in November 2017 was sentenced to prison, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced today.

Thomas Jadlowski, 34, of Sherman, was sentenced in Chautauqua County Court by Judge David Foley to serve one to three years at a facility to be determined by the New York State Department of Corrections. The sentence was issued as a result of Jadlowski’s guilty plea to criminally negligent homicide in the shooting death of Rosemary Billquist on Thanksgiving Eve 2017.

Jadlowski, who was illegally hunting deer after official sunset, aimed and fired at Billquist, his neighbor, when he mistook her for a deer as she was walking in a field behind her home in Sherman.

“Every hunting accident in New York is preventable when people follow basic hunting safety rules,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “I hope this tragedy serves as a reminder to hunters across the state to always be sure of their targets and beyond. We are grateful to the hard work of our Environmental Conservation Police Officers, Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson, and the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office to bring this case to justice.”

Now that the criminal case is over, DEC is commencing an administrative action to revoke the defendant’s sporting license.

DEC would like to remind all hunters to follow DEC's hunting safety rules:

  • Assume every gun is loaded.
  • Control the muzzle. Point your gun in a safe direction.
  • Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
  • Be sure of your target and beyond.
  • Do not hunt deer and bear in the dark; big game hunting ends at sunset.

DEC encourages hunters to wear blaze orange or pink. Wearing orange or pink prevents other hunters from mistaking a person for an animal, or shooting in that direction. Hunters who wear hunter orange are seven times less likely to be shot.

For more information on these and other important hunting safety tips, visit the DEC's website.

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