Police Pursue Prospect Park Pigeon Poachers

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – If you’re looking for something to eat in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, police say to avoid the roast pigeon.

WCBS 880’s Steve Knight In Brooklyn

The Brooklyn Paper says police have ticketed four people earlier this month for illegal hunting and fishing in the park. According to parkgoers, the possibly homeless group of hunters first catch small animals, like a pigeon, and then roast their kill over an open fire.

PHOTO GALLERY: National Pigeon Association Grand Champions

“What do you mean by poaching?” reacted one man. “Do you eat them or something?”

The cases involve everything from pigeons to squirrels and even a woman who has been spotted trying to catch a Canada Goose with a net.

Park Officials Recently Wrote Four Tickets For Poaching. 1010 WINS’ Al Jones Reports.

“That’s terrible,” said a parkgoer.

One dog walker says she admires the vagrants’ ingenuity and outdoor skills, but another person said they were surprised police were “addressing that concern as opposed to others around the city.”

Many however say this is nothing new. Parkgoers have been collecting large amounts of fishing wire, saying birds frequently get tangled and have even confronted people in the past for illegally fishing in the park’s lake.

The tickets that were issued this month, two for illegal fishing and two for killing wildlife, came out to a total of $2,100 in fines.

This isn’t the first time problems have plagued Prospect Park. Residents say certain areas of the park have become a pig-sty, with trash overflowing from garbage cans and everything from chicken bones to condom wrappers littering the ground.

What do you think about this alleged pigeon poaching? Sound off below in our comments section…

More from Al Jones
  • Baby Dee

    This is too funny! Reading this has made my morning. Why ae the ploice harrassing these folks? No disrespect to the Asian community – but I’ve eaten some great tasting Chinese food and couldn’t tell you what I was consuming. It could have chicken, rat, cat, or dog. All I know it was tasty and in expensive, I surprised that large numbers of homeless people haven’t gone hunting before!!! Give them a break – they’re not following you home late at night!!


    Welcome to Obamaville and the GREAT GREAT Depression. Soon most of you will be fighting over dead pigeons to eat once the dollar collapses under the weight of borrowing and spending.

  • pugphan

    Haw haw haw I would sure love to see them collect those fines, these peeps are
    most def homeless and have about as much dough as popping fresh. smokersodysseycom

  • 2Cents

    Alliteration (is that a verb?) always attracts avid audiences..nice job on the title copy! but i digress. I suspect that many New Yorkers are already ususpectingly (is that an adverb?) eating pigeon and rat..sometimes “chicken” doesn’t taste exactly like chicken, know what i mean?


    There are more than enough pigeons in this filthy city to be used as a food source. Roast them and sell them from hot dog carts.

  • wendy

    Pigeons are not an endangered specie. I see hundreds of them a day. The people who are roasting them will probably prefer to roast a nice juicy rib steak rather than these nasty dirty birds, they however cannot afford to. ITS CALLED SURVIVAL!!! This is probably the ONLY protein meal they eat.

  • CoolTex

    I thought these birds as well as Canadian geese were pests! Let them cull the populations! Did any of our ancestors hunt the land that park is on? They should get a bounty for them also! Or send them to Texas to hunt feral hogs! Tons of them and they could eat for a week on one…

    • ejones

      Not only should these people NOT be prosecuted for hunting the pigeons, they should be turned loose on the rats in Tompkins Square Park — give them a voucher for a decent meal for every 5 rats they kill.

  • kendra

    as much as i hate to admit i can,t stand pigeons with a passion but i would never harm them in any way shape or form and people should leave them alone cause truthfully there not bothering anybody and they have a right to be here just as u and i or the next person and i hope they get caught bothering them so they could get a big fat fine or jail time cause this business of them be bothered is getting out of control.

    • ejones

      Care to buy a punctuation mark?

  • Friend

    The poor always get the bottom end of the stick, God forbid if we were to become homeless…they would treat us the same.

  • b. l. black

    i do have to say that it seems strange that for years, the Parks Department and other city agencies have been trying to get rid of pigeons and canada geese to the point where they are a lot scarcer than for decades past, but they don’t want the homeless, or destitute, or even basic working poor to eat them? what sense does this make? they aren’t endangered, and there are a lot of other problems with our parks the city should be concerned about. i’m an animal lover, but it seems to me a disgrace that any US citizen, or citizen of NYC should have to resort to this type of living, then be fined for it.

  • James

    Eileen, I love animals as well, but Sev has a point. I see nothing wrong with hunting a non-endangered species and using it for sustaining one’s life. The key word here is “eating”. I think Id be more upset at the fact that people are fishing, as there are far fewer fish than pidgeons.

  • Andrew Brunetti

    I see no problem with this, we really have to waste our NYPD reseources on this, how useless this Mayor and the Commissioner are, they are both horrible for this city and have ruined everything that was once great about it as well… keep wasting NYC taxpayer’s time, money, and public service, no wonder native New Yorker’s want out

  • Vixen

    It’s a shame that people have to resort to living that way. However, the republicans don’t want to tax the rich to help the poor. Sooo, it’s no surprise that people are literally eating off the streets.

    • Perdition 101

      Obama and Democrats eat crow all the time so what’s your comment have to do with the story?
      Bums under all different presidents have eaten pidgeons, squirrels and other wild critters. This is not a new thing. Rich people eat squab and people in the south and lower midwest states eat squirrels all the time. The eat the meaty hind legs and saddle part of the tree rat.

  • CTNative

    Better they hunt RATS!!!!!

  • Brucie

    Who’s going to pay the fines? If they are homeless, they most likely moneyless.

  • diver

    Pigeons are called Squab after they come out of the oven.

  • Skeptical

    If these diners could afford to pay $2,100 in fines WOULD they be doing their fine dining in Prospect Park ?????

  • HooDatIS?
  • SEV


    • Eileen

      Sometimes I can’t believe the heartless comments on this website.

      • Meme Meyagi

        yes eileen, lets throw you out on the street, and everytime you try to eat, you will be fined by new yorks finest pigs

      • doc

        What’s so heartless? Those homeless persons are trying to survive! Get off your high horse.

  • Nick

    If we are allowed to hunt the bigger two-legged wildlife in Prospect Park, than I see no problems with allowing hunting.

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