Friday June 21, 2013

KEITH WHITCOMB JR.

Staff Writer

BENNINGTON -- A jury found a Woodford Road man guilty of shooting a deer from his vehicle last year on South Stream Road.

Joshua P. Hayes, 22, was convicted of reckless endangerment, and using an illegal method to take game. The court dismissed a charge of failing to tag big game. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for July 10.

Reckless endangerment is a misdemeanor and carries a maximum penalty of a year in prison, no more than a $1,000 fine, or both. According to Vermont Statutes Online, the big game charge carries not more than a $1,000 fine and not more than 60 days in jail.

According to an affidavit filed by game wardens, on Nov. 24 they were contacted by someone on South Stream Road who reported hearing a gunshot from a vehicle. The vehicle was identified and stopped and Hayes was found to be the driver. In the back of the vehicle was a dead white tailed deer which wardens said was tagged using a bear tag.

Hayes denied shooting the deer from his vehicle.

Wardens said they spoke to nearby residents who said they saw Hayes' vehicle after hearing the gunshot. They also spoke to a motorist who reported hearing a gunshot and then coming upon a vehicle and seeing a gunbarrel pulled back inside.


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