Vermont Elk Park Fined Again
Big Back Ridge, an Irasburg Vermont elk-hunting park is facing some trouble. The park owner Doug Nelson, with the aid of Vermont Lawmakers behind closed doors in 2010, passed legislation in the session's final hours. This legislation took away the Fish and Wildlife Department's right to monitor the park and gave the authority to the Agriculture Agency. Also this late session legislation gave Nelson ownership of the wild deer on his property. To help pass this legislation they used one of Nelson's residents, Pete the moose that had been tamed. Vermont was planning on killing off all the moose and deer at Big Back Ridge over a period of time, but when Pete advocates found out, there was outrage.
Once Vermont hunters found out about this legislation though the tables were turned. The Wildlife Public Trust Act states the wildlife of Vermont belongs to all the people of Vermont, and can not be privately owned. Lawmakers repealed the legislation passed in 2010, and want to work on a plan with Nelson to kill all the deer and moose on Big Back Ridge within the next three years. Pete the moose is specifically exempt from this though.
Nelson has been fined through out the years, and has new fines this year. The new penalties, totaling $7,500, are for failing to complete a herd inventory that would count every animal on the property and identify each animal in some way. He also has not submitted an acceptable plan to cull the whitetail deer herd, according to the agency. "He has never once been in compliance with state regulations since the beginning," Berry, the Fish and Wildlife commissioner, said last week. From BurlingtonFreePress.com.
Nelson said business has been great, sold over 100 permits to hunt last year. Hunters pay up to $7500 for trophy elk at Big Back Ridge.