VERMONT FISH AND WILDLIFE NARRATIVE
OFFENSE: 10 VSA 4705, SHOOTING FROM A PUBLIC HIGHWAY
DATE OF VIOLATION: 05/23/2016
WARDEN: BUTLER, W953
DETAILS OF INVESTIGATION:
On Monday May 23, 2016, at approximately 1230 hours I was forwarded an Operation Game Thief (OGT) complaint that had been submitted by a female identified as “Kristin” at approximately 1152 hours. The OGT complaint read, “A red Jeep was pulled somewhat to the side of the road (not enough to where I could pass, so I had to sit and wait) the passenger got out of the Jeep, raised a rifle, and shot
a Wild Goose from the shoulder of the road. This happened just past Enchanted Flora Farm, heading towards Alfrecia Rd.” I later spoke to the complainant, who advised that she couldn’t tell if the shooter was standing on pavement or gravel, but that he was not standing in the grass. There is approximately 12-14 inches of gravel between the paved road surface and the grass in that stretch of road.
At approximately 1245 hours Warded Hungerford and I arrived in the area of the incident, located at approximately 237 Dorr Drive/Creek Road near the Rutland Town and Clarendon town line. While searching the roadside I located a spent 12 gauge 5 shot hull, approximately two (2) inches off of the pavement. Approximately 74 feet from the pavement in western direction was a shotgun wad, and starting at approximately 101 feet 6 inches and ending at 116 feet in the same direction was a large number of feathers belonging to a male wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo).
Only one turkey was shot and reported in the towns of Clarendon and Rutland Town on May 23, 2016. That turkey was reported by a subject, later identified and referred to as the defendant, at Corey’s RV in Wallingford.
On Tuesday, May 24, 2016, at approximately 0915 I was in the town of Danby attempting to locate the defendant, when a man operating a red Jeep pulled to the side of the road and motioned me to stop. When I pulled in behind his vehicle he approached me and stated that he thought I was Warden Jackman. He then verbally identified himself as the defendant’s father. I asked if the defendant was in
the Jeep with him and he said, “yes, are we in trouble?” I exited my truck and asked them to tell me about the turkey shot the day before.
The defendants father told me that he and the defendant had been driving around looking for a turkey when the saw the turkey in the field adjacent to Dorr Drive. The defendant exited the Jeep and shot the turkey as it was running away. When asked how far off of the road the defendant was when he shot, he told me that he was 10 feet from the pavement. I showed the two a picture of the shotgun shell in relationship to the pavement. The defendant’s father’s response was to tell me that a since retired warden had told him that he just had to be off of the travelled portion of the road, and even advised that it was okay to use the guardrail as a rest.
I explained the current laws regarding the legally required distance from a road to shoot a weapon at wildlife to both men, which is 25 feet. I issued the defendant a Vermont Uniform Fish and Wildlife Information for his violation of 10 vsa 4705, Shooting from a public highway, and showed him the violation on the schedule of fines, I explained the fine, points, and options associated with the violation.
Wesley W. Butler, W953