Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Two Men Charged After Shooting Decoy in Royalton
Deer poaching is on the increase this time of year, but the consequences can be painful as two Central Vermont men discovered late at night on October 5.
Vermont State Game Wardens conducted a decoy deer operation in Royalton that evening. At approximately 10:47 p.m. shots were fired at the decoy deer. Warden Keith Gallant pursued and stopped a vehicle containing Mikel Brady of Randolph and Joshua Hill of Bethel, both 23, and a 15-year old juvenile.
After a cursory check of the vehicle and its occupants, no gun was located in the vehicle and the men were released and advised the gun used would be located by wardens along the roadside. A short time later, while searching the roadside for the firearm, a pickup truck was observed turning around shining its headlights into a field, in the area where the firearm was believed to have been tossed. The vehicle was stopped by Warden Steven Majeski, and the 20-year old operator and three 17-year old occupants were identified. Wardens quickly determined that one of the occupants was brother to the shooting suspect.
Two of the occupants provided information that suspect Brady had called his brother and instructed him to retrieve the firearm tossed earlier. The 20-year old operator of the second vehicle was determined to be intoxicated and was turned over to Vermont State Police for arrest for DUI. One occupant was cited by wardens for a second offense as a minor in possession of alcohol before the group was released. A firearm was located nearby along the road a short time later.
Mikel Brady and Joshua Hill are facing charges of taking deer in closed season, taking deer by illegal means and possession of a loaded rifle in a motor vehicle. Brady and Hill may also face charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor as well as federal charges. Fish and Wildlife charges include fines of up to $1,000 per charge and 60 days in jail as well as penalties upon conviction and a three-year suspension of licenses to hunt, fish and trap in Vermont.
You can help protect Vermont's fish and wildlife resources by reporting poaching violations to a State Game Warden or anonymously through Operation Game Thief (OGT).
Operation Game Thief, a non-profit joint project of the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs and the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, pays rewards to citizens who turn in poachers. Callers do not have to reveal their names, testify in court or sign a deposition. Rewards are paid if an arrest is made or if a citation is issued. The toll-free OGT phone is 1-800-ALERT (1-800-752-5378). Reports also can be made on Fish and Wildlife's website (www.vtfishandwildlife.com