Thursday, November 12, 2009

Wildlife Needs Our Help

In 1971 the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department hired me and 11 other Warden Trainees. At that time there were a total of 38 wardens in the State. 2009 there are exactly 38 Wardens total working in Vermont with three retiring before the end of the year and one on deployment in Iraq.
In spite of efforts by lots of us this is the sad state of affairs with our Department and the Warden force. It truly is a thin green line standing between wildlife and poachers.
Now is the time for sportsmen to step up and do our share. I suggest the following:
1) Report all suspected violations as soon as possible. For violations in progress call 911. Get as much information as you can, critical are vehicle license numbers and descriptions of suspects. GPS coordinates of the scene are also very helpful.
2) If you hear information about violations or don't want to be directly involved for whatever reason call the Operation Game Thief hot line at 1-800-75ALERT (1-800-752-5378)or go to the Dept web site and get the information in.
3) Support the Vermont Wildlife Partnership's initiative to get sustainable, adequate and broad based funding for the Department.Over 60 sportsman, environmental and business groups are part of this partnership. Check and see if groups you are a member of are signed on.
4) Hunt and fish responsibly yourself and insist that everyone you go out with does to.
Good luck deer hunting and don't forget to wear your hunter orange - stats from NY state clearly show you are 9 times safer with orange than without.

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