Corey Martello, 37, from Jericho and Hunter Bessette, 24, from Northfield have been charged with taking deer by illegal means, taking deer in closed season, spotting and locating wildlife, shooting from a motor vehicle, cocked crossbow in a motor vehicle, failure to stop for a Game Warden, careless and negligent operation, and attempting to elude in connection with a poaching incident in Underhill.
Several State Game Wardens were conducting a deer decoy operation through the late hours of Friday, November 12, in Underhill, in response to multiple complaints of poaching activity in the area.
At approximately 11:40 p.m., a truck approached the location, came to a stop in the roadway and illuminated the deer decoy. Shortly after, a passenger fired a crossbow out the window of the truck and struck the deer decoy. Wardens attempted to stop the truck on scene, but it took off at a high rate of speed. Wardens pursued the vehicle for a short distance until they got the truck stopped.
Martello and Bessette were both taken into custody without incident, released on conditions, and are scheduled to appear in Chittenden Superior Court on Monday, November 15, to answer multiple fish and wildlife, traffic offenses and drug related charges.
If convicted of these violations, both men could face several thousand dollars in fines as well as jail time, or both. They also may lose the right to hunt, fish and trap in Vermont for three years.
The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department is asking anyone with information about any poaching activity or this incident, to contact their local Vermont State Game Warden through their nearest State Police radio dispatcher, or they may leave an anonymous tip to Operation Game Thief at 1-800-75ALERT