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VT: Former member of VT Fish & Wildlife pleads no contest to hunting violations

December 17, 2009

Spaulding again cited for hunting violations

The former sergeant-at-arms of the Vermont Statehouse and former member of the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Board has pleaded no contest to two deer hunting violations in New Hampshire.

Kermit Spaulding, who was convicted in Vermont of shooting at a deer decoy from his truck in 2003 and was cited for hunting over bait in 2005, pleaded no contest to discharging a firearm on a public road and no contest to carrying a loaded firearm in a vehicle on Nov. 11 in Pittsburg, N.H.

It was the fourth conviction for hunting violations in two states over the past six years for Spaulding and the second involving a decoy deer.

Col. Martin Garabedian, the chief warden at New Hampshire Fish and Game, said that one of the two charges that Spaulding pleaded to involved the Vermonter shooting at a decoy deer.

"It was a decoy-related incident," Garabedian said. "That was a decoy case."

But Garabedian said he could not comment any further than what was listed on the one-page New Hampshire Fish and Game Offense Tracking Report, a document that was very sparse on details.

Spaulding, who resides in Stowe, paid $240 in fines $120 for each offense after pleading no contest in November to the two charges in New Hampshire. In addition, his hunting privileges have been revoked in New Hampshire for a year.

The offenses took place during the New Hampshire firearms deer season.

Spaulding could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.

Spaulding was a member of the Fish & Wildlife Board when he shot at a decoy deer from inside his truck in Stowe 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."

Game wardens in Vermont, New Hampshire and other states utilize decoys, particularly during deer seasons, to apprehend illegal road hunters and poachers.

The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Board, a 14-member advisory panel, instituted a ban on feeding and baiting deer in 2005. While he was charged with baiting deer in 2005, Spaulding eventually pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of feeding deer, an admission that cost him his right to a Vermont hunting license for two years.

Spaulding retired from his post as sergeant-at-arms at the Statehouse shortly after his latest Vermont Fish & Wildlife violation.

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