WOODBURY — A man has pled no contest to shooting at Canada geese on his property with a high-powered pellet rifle.
Vermont Fish and Wildlife wardens charged John Fricke, 56, with taking game by unlawful methods following an anonymous tip placed to Operation Game Thief. The call indicated that one goose was floating dead in Nelson Pond. Wardens found a second severely injured goose that needed to be euthanized.
Fricke stated he only intended to scare the geese away and had no intention of killing them. He pled no contest on June 24 in Washington County District Court and as a result will lose his privilege to hunt, fish and trap in Vermont and 43 other states for one year, thanks to the Interstate Wildlife Violators Compact.
Migratory waterfowl are also protected by federal regulations. Homeowners who are facing problems with Canada geese are urged not to harass or harm the birds but to contact the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal Damage Control Unit in Berlin at 802-223-8690.
Operation Game Thief is a joint, non-profit program sponsored by the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs and administered by the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. The program provides a way for people to help protect Vermont’s wildlife by reporting wildlife law violators without using their name.
Citizens who wish to report a wildlife crime may contact Operation Game Thief by calling 1-800-75ALERT (1-800-752-5378) or online at www.vtfishandwildlife.com. Users may choose to remain anonymous. Rewards are paid for information leading to an arrest.
“We work to protect Vermont’s wildlife and fish,” noted Col. Jason Batchelder, chief game warden, “Our partnership with private citizens ensures that these resources are conserved for all Vermonters.”
-From a press release submitted by the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department