Sunday, June 20, 2010

Potent alliance gives Vermont hunting reserve exemption from game rules

From the Burlingrton Free Press - Front page:

Richard Nelson watches bull elk approach a feeding trough at Big 
Rack Ridge in Irasburg on Monday. Nelson and his father, Doug, keep a 
herd of 50 or more bull elks at the hunt park where clients pay hefty 
sums for a guaranteed kill. In May, they won an exemption from Fish and 
Wildlife rules that would have required removal of the native deer and 
moose from the park — probably by slaughter — to stop any risk of 
spreading disease. The Nelsons say their herd has proven to be 
disease-free, and they hope to add whitetail deer hunts to their 

Potent alliance gives Vermont hunting reserve exemption from game rules

Vermont lawmakers gave special status at the 11th hour to an Irasburg elk park where hunters pay up to $7,000 to shoot penned animals.
Transcript: May 26, 2010 Vermont Fish & Wildlife Board Meeting
- 6:51 am (55)


  1. Be sure to read the FW Board meeting notes. It is unbeleavable what the Speacial assistant to the Governor has to say. Here is a sample:
    Ames: Are you familiar with the North American Model of Wildlife Management?

    McLain: No.

    Ames: One of its basic tenets is what I think the Board follows, and Department as well, is the model that we follow, they follow all across the country, most states with the exception of Texas. One of its tenets is wildlife is wild and belongs to the people in public trust.

    McLain: I understand that. I understand that, I understand that’s the underlying principle that runs through everything that you do for this Board.

    Ames: This clearly violates it.

    McLain: Absolutely. The problem is, these animals have been enclosed for such a long time, there is no, there is no way, other than killing them all, to have them be wild again. And if, of course, if you’re going to make them wild, they’d be dead, but the idea of a mass slaughter, because you couldn’t take a chance of letting them free, because you don’t know about disease, you don’t want them to be captive, so they either have to be dead or this is the alternative. They are managed by an agency of state government to the best way possible.

    Ames: (inaudible) to the Board, I have great concerns that the Agency of Agriculture hasn’t done its work; the Agency hasn’t been managing this facility anyway. One of my great concerns is the fact that this changes jurisdiction of wild animals dramatically. It flies in the face of 200+ years of case law, 500 years of common law of this subject.

    Read more:

  2. Where is the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs and HAT on this issue? Who is speaking for sportsmen? We know that both the captive and native deer routinely go under and/or over the fence (in and out), and that the second fence requirement is a farce. Should CWD or Tb be introduced as a result of this political deal, it will effect hunters in the NEK and all of Vermont for years, and probably cost the state hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars, all so one man can profit.

  3. Wait until people find out that Nelson paid Lawrence to go out and capture perfectly healthy moose calves for his p-r stunt. Dooming innocent calves to death. nobody has hit on that truth yet. For all we know Lawrence "guided" the "hunt" to kill Bull the Moose.

  4. Anon June 20
    I understand from two folks at the last Federation meeting that they are going to issue a position statement supporting repeal of the Nelson amendment and urge all of their members to push for the same. I haven't seen anything yet. Clint Gray is the president and would be the one to contact.

  5. From
    Officials say deer shooting not linked to preserve law

    Waterbury, Vermont - June 21, 2010

    Last week a game warden killed a deer that was outside the fence of a hunting preserve in the Northeast Kingdom.

    The Elk hunting preserve in Irasburg spans 600 acres. It's also where native deer and moose are -- including Pete the Moose. It's illegal to fence in native animals, but lawmakers passed a last second exemption for Big Back Ridge. Pete supporters cheered the move, but its created controversy because some including the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Board say lawmakers over-stepped their authority while crafting the deal in the darkness of night. Vermont Fish and Wildlife Game Warden Col David LeCours says they got a call from someone about the escaped fallow deer and they shot it over fear it could spread disease to the native deer population.

    Kristin Carlson: "Some people may be wondering if this is retribution for the whole Pete the Moose situation?"

    Col. David LeCours: "It has nothing to with Pete the Moose although the deer was in fairly close proximity. It had nothing to do with it. This is a protocol we've worked out with Ag and have been using for several years now."

    Tests on the deer for tuberculosis and rabies came back negative. It will still be a few more weeks before test results on Chronic Wasting Disease are in. Calls for comment to the owner of the preserve were not returned.

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