Hunter Accused of Killing 2 Pet Dogs Mistaken for Coyotes

By Brodie SwisherMarch 10, 20234 Comments

It wasn’t too long ago that the story of a Montana woman who killed and skinned a husky dog, thinking it was a wolf, was making the headlines and stirring the emotions of hunters and animal rights activists alike. Well, it’s now happening again. 

Reports say that Michael Konschak, 61, of Carmel, New York, has been accused of killing two pet German Shepherds while hunting with a crossbow back in November. He then skinned the animals to keep their pelts, according to the arrest warrant application.

Here’s a clip from Episode 3 of The Pinch Point, where Justin Zarr talks on the topic and gives his thoughts on the incident:

Konschak told police he thought the dogs were coyotes. He says that after shooting the first one, the second one began moving aggressively toward him. 

An investigation got under way on November 18th when a local animal control officer received reports of two missing dogs. The dogs were both 9-year-old German Shepherds, family pets, that had escaped from the yard through a damaged fence.  

The family had been searching for the dogs for weeks, organizing search efforts in the community and through social media. Unfortunately, the response they got was not the news they wanted to hear. 

On December 12th, the family received a text with information about the missing dogs, along with photos that revealed their demise.

Hunter Accused Of Killing 2 Pet Dogs Mistaken For Coyotes
These pet German Shepherds were killed when they wandered past New York hunter, Michael Konschak, who mistook them for coyotes.

To make matters worse, Konschak made plans to take them to the taxidermist because of their unique color. His plan was to have his prize “coyotes” tanned and prepared for display. Upon arrival at the taxidermy shop, the taxidermist informed Konschak that he was 98% sure they were not coyotes, but rather German Shepherds. Konschak left the taxidermy shop after the owner told him he was unable to help him with the job.  

After being denied taxidermy services, Konschak decided to skin the dogs himself. Konschak later told police he had discarded the pelts because he did not like the way they turned out, but police said they learned he had tossed the pelts after learning that police had launched an investigation into the case. 

Police said the investigation was turned over to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection once they determined that the dogs were reported to have been killed.

In a statement, DEEP said they’ve thoroughly investigated the case, and Konschak was subsequently arrested. Officials said the State’s Attorney’s Office is prosecuting the case.

Konschak has been charged with tampering with evidence, forgery, interfering with a law enforcement officer, and violating wild game hunting regulations. He recently appeared in court where his application for accelerated rehabilitation was denied.

Erin Caviola, one of the owners of the dogs, said Wednesday that they knew Konschak should not be accepted into that program, and it was good news for the family. 

“It gave us hope that this man will never hunt again. It gave us hope that his charges would remain public,” she said.

Konschak is scheduled to appear in court again on April 12.

Brodie Swisher
Brodie Swisher is a world champion game caller, outdoor writer, seminar speaker and Editor for Bowhunting.com. Brodie and his family live in the Kentucky Lake area of west Tennessee.
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