Five Men Charged after Night of Poaching in Vermont

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Vermont State Game Wardens have charged five men in connection with a deer poaching spree that occurred on the evening of Saturday, October 22nd and continued into the early morning of Sunday the 23rd.

After a lengthy investigation, meat from illegal deer was seized from three residences in Bristol Village. Also retained were several deer hides, tools, an electric chainsaw used to cut up the deer, three rifles, and the head of a 7-point buck that was shot illegally. The three rifles used by the poachers were a .22, a 30-30 and a 30-06.

Beginning late Saturday night, the poachers shot approximately eleven separate times while jacking deer in Lincoln, Ripton and Bristol. Four deer were confirmed killed, the last being shot on Carlstrom Road at approximately 4:30 a.m. One deer was not recovered by the poachers due to landowner intervention, and it is possible that several other deer were injured. The four confirmed deer killed were: a “button-horn” buck, a yearling doe, an adult doe, and a 7-point buck.

Initially called by a concerned citizen of Lincoln, wardens investigated a number of crime scenes where deer were shot at along several miles of back roads and meadows. The first call reporting the shots occurred after a person was awakened by gunshots close to their home just after 1 a.m. As the investigation developed, more witnesses came forward.

Not only were the poachers actions illegal, but extremely dangerous as well. Deer were shot at from a pick-up with the aid of a hand held spotlight, at times while the passenger sat on the door window-frame and fired over the roof of the truck. At least three of the shootings occurred in close to occupied homes and with unsafe backstops for the high-powered bullets.

The five men involved are ordered to appear for arraignment at Addison County Court in Middlebury on January 23rd. They are Steven Clark of Bristol, Israel Clark of Bristol, Collin Bell of Bristol, Adam Josey from Richmond, and Dana Lathrop from Florida, formerly from Bristol.

They face a variety of charges which may include taking big game by illegal means, possession of deer in closed season, spotting and locating deer, and shooting from a vehicle. Fines could be as high as $500 with $1,000 restitution for each deer killed. They may also lose their licenses for three years and be required to take a remedial course before having a hunting license again.

Anyone who witnesses a Fish and Wildlife crime is asked to report it immediately directly to the local Game Warden by calling the state police dispatch or dialing 1-800-75ALERT (1-800-752-5378).


Ca_Vermonster's picture

Man, I hate to see stories

Man, I hate to see stories about poaching like this, involving a nice deer and a few others, and a bunch of poachers.  What bothers me even more is that it's in my home state.  Very sad.  I don't know why these guys do it, whether it's the thrill of the kill, the food, bravado, whatever, but it really ticks me off.  there are those of us, like me, who stick by the rules, and go 10 years without shooting a deer.  Heck, I would give anything for a nice 7 pointer.  But, I would never, ever, consider poaching.  It takes away all the meaning of hunting in the first place.

Glad to see these guys got caught, and hopefully along with what they had seized from them, they will also see some good jail time and hefty fines.  I am all for using people like this as an example, and showing people that poaching doesn't come cheap!

Retired2hunt's picture

  I am definitely happy that


I am definitely happy that concerned citizens came forward with enough information to charge these 5 idiots for the poaching they probably are guilty of.  If there was a way of checking blood alcohol content back a ways I would bet that would also be a part of the charges.

What I am not happy in reading is that they face a mere $500 fine with a $1000 restitution for 4 dear.  And that is exactly why poaching punishments are no big deal and idiots like these guys will continue poaching long after this event.  Even if this is a per-person fine (which I doubt) it is only a $4500 fine... and most likely pled down along with any minimal jail time. 

Can you tell I am passionate about catching poachers but not so much on the poor sentences handed down to most?!?!


GooseHunter Jr's picture

Glad they caught thease

Glad they caught thease moroons.  Thye were not only killing illegally but they were taking a chance in hurting a person, if they were shooting that close to some homes that ir would awake residents.  Yet another great case to throw a book at them and make another expample of people and to let evryone else know that people and states are not gonna stand for this type of actions.

hunter25's picture

I'm glad they caught these

I'm glad they caught these guys and hopefuly they will get the maximum penalty for thier actions. It's bad enough for one person to act like this but getting five idiots together doing it is rediculous.