Vermont state game wardens charged two Northeast Kingdom men recently for allegedly poaching several deer during March and April in the Stannard area.
On June 22, game wardens, assisted by officers from the Hardwick Police Department, executed a search warrant at the residence of Shawn Bell, 37, of Greensboro and based on evidence gathered during the investigation charged him with taking deer in closed season during the spring of this year. Arraignment for Bell will be on July 20 in Caledonia Superior Court.
On July 7, Kasey Ainsworth, 22, of Coventry was arrested and charged with possessing and transporting deer taken in closed season. Arraignment for Ainsworth will be held on August 4 in Orleans Superior Court.
Additional arrests are anticipated as a result of the investigation.
Each big game violation carries with it the potential for up to 60 days in jail, a minimum fine of $400 ($1000 maximum) and an additional $2000 restitution for each of the illegally killed animals. If convicted, the men will lose their rights to hunt, fish and trap in Vermont and 43 other states for a period of three years and would be required to pass a remedial outdoor ethics course prior to reinstatement.
Citizens who have further information relating to these cases or who wish to report a wildlife crime may contact Operation Game Thief by calling 1-800-75ALERT (1-800-752-5378) or online at www.vtfishandwildlife.com. Users may choose to remain anonymous. Rewards are paid for information leading to an arrest.
“We work to protect Vermont’s wildlife and fish,” noted Col. Jason Batchelder, chief game warden. “Our partnership with private citizens and sister police agencies ensures that these resources are conserved for all Vermonters.”