Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

October 16, 2012

Four charged after tree stand dispute

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Three hunters who discovered two of their four tree stands were missing wound up being charged with trespassing by Niagara County Sheriff’s deputies on Friday.

The trio told a deputy they had been hunting on Hosmer Road property and when they returned to their location, the stands were missing. They also found a pair of fake antlers in one of the remaining stands.

According to the sheriff’s report, they said “they received information” that the missing stands were located at 1923 Hosmer Road, “so they picked up the fake antlers and went to the house ... to inquire about the tree stands and fake antlers.”

They rang the door bell and a woman answered the door. She told them the antlers belong to her husband. The trio asked if they could speak to him.

According to the report, the man came outside on the porch, he was carrying what appeared to be an automatic rifle with a scope on it. The trio alleged that the man pointed the gun at them, cocked the gun and threatened to kill them if they didn’t get off his property.

They called police.

When patrol interviewed the man, Daniel Heigl, he gave a different story. Heigl said one of the men asked him why he was using his tree stand and Heigl responded that he had permission from his landlord, who owns the property where the stands were set up.

Heigl also alleged that he was told if they catch him in the tree stand again, “there will be problems.” According to Heigl, the three then left and he said he called the police.

Deputies contacted the property owner, who said he only gave permission to Heigl to be on that property and to hunt there. He added he hadn’t given any of the other three permission to hunt on his property.

The hunters, Roger W. Gardner, 46, 2015 Hartland Road, Appleton; Paul F. Gardner Jr., 49, 10 Bennett Court, Swedesboro, NJ and Matthew P. Scott, 31, 8817 Haight Road, Appleton were all charged with trespassing.

Heigl was charged with three counts of menacing.