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Hunting Accident File > VIOLATIONS > 2005

Sergeant at arms faces hunting violation

November 23, 2005

By Dennis Jensen Herald Staff

The sergeant at arms at the Vermont State House has been cited for hunting deer with bait in Stowe during the October bow-and-arrow season the second hunting violation brought against him in two years.

Kermit Spaulding, a former member of the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Board, was cited to appear in Lamoille District Court on Nov. 14, but was granted an extension to Dec. 5.

In his previous Fish & Wildlife violation in 2003, he was convicted of shooting from his truck at a deer decoy in a meadow near the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe.

Game Warden Dennis Reinhardt cited Spaulding in both incidents.

A ban on hunting over bait was instituted this year by the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Board. If convicted, Spaulding could face an undetermined fine and a loss of hunting, fishing and trapping privileges in Vermont for three years.

Spaulding was first elected to the sergeant at arms post by legislators in 1997. He could not be reached for comment Tuesday night and was reportedly out of state.

The Fish & Wildlife Department refers alleged violations to state's attorneys for prosecution.

Lamoille County State's Attorney's Joel Page declined to discuss the Spaulding case.

"I have received the case and I'm not sure what the allegation is," Page said Tuesday. "We don't give out information on cases that haven't been screened."

Reinhardt, meanwhile, was reluctant to discuss any details about the case and seemed perplexed that Page wouldn't provide details of the charges against Spaulding.

"I can tell you he's been cited for hunting deer over bait," Reinhardt said.

John Hall, a spokesman for the Fish & Wildlife Department, could not provide further details about the Spaulding case and referred all questions to Page's office.

It is a common practice for the Fish & Wildlife Department to issue a press release detailing an arrest for a violation, based solely on a game warden's arrest report. No release has been issued by the department in Spaulding's latest Fish & Wildlife citation last month.

Spaulding, who resides in Stowe, was a member of the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Board when he shot at a decoy deer from inside his truck in Stowe back in 2003. Appointed by Gov. James Douglas, he resigned from the board after admitting to the charge.

"I did it," Spaulding told the Associated Press at the time. "Fifty years of community service, 60 years of hunting and one dumb moment."

Vermont game wardens use decoy deer, especially during the Vermont deer season, to apprehend illegal road hunters and poachers.

The Fish & Wildlife Board instituted a ban on feeding and baiting deer earlier this year.

"This is something set by the Fish & Wildlife Board. They're taking it (baiting) very seriously," Reinhardt said Tuesday. "It's a three-year loss of license upon conviction. They considered the ethical implications of hunting over bait and, more importantly, the chronic waste disease issue."

Contact Dennis Jensen at dennis.jensen@rutlandherald.com

 

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