Investigation, Arrest for Importing Deer From CWD Zone

The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department says a multi-year investigation has led to the arrest by game wardens of a Burlington man for importing deer from a chronic wasting disease (CWD) endemic area.

handcuffsWardens executed a search warrant on Dec. 2 at the residence of Alan Baker in Burlington for evidence of the importation of deer from a New York captive hunt facility. Wardens obtained evidence of four deer being imported from the Lowlands Whitetails Hunting Ranch in Lowville, NY.

Evidence obtained through the search warrant as well as information provided by Environmental Police Officers of the New York Department of Environmental Conservation and the New York State Police proved that Baker has imported deer from this facility in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Baker also allegedly attempted to report the deer as being killed in Vermont.

Baker has been charged with three counts of importing deer from a Chronic Wasting Disease endemic area and captive hunt facility.

Each charge carries a maximum fine of $1,000 with five points charged against the offender’s privilege to hunt, fish and trap. Baker will lose his hunting, fishing and trapping privileges for two years upon conviction and has been cited to appear in Chittenden County Superior Court on February 10, 2015.

CWD is a fatal disease of the brain and nervous system in deer and elk. Abnormal prion proteins produce lesions in the brain that cause disorientation and emaciation. For the latest information on CWD, check www.cwd-info.org and www.vtfishandwildlife.com.

A Vermont regulation requires special processing of deer or elk carcasses being imported from states or provinces that have, or have had, CWD. The disease has been found in more than 20 states and two Canadian provinces, including New York.

Vermont’s CWD regulation applies to hunters bringing in deer or elk carcasses from the following states and provinces: Alberta, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Saskatchewan, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

Source: Vermont FWD