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Woman trying to stop bear hunters releases dog and attack ensues, VT officials say

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Woman trying to stop bear hunters releases dog and attack ensues, VT officials say

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Two women were trying to stop the bear hunters before one let go of a German Shepherd – and an attack ensued, according to Vermont wildlife officials.

The loose dog attacked one of the hunters’ leashed dogs, causing injuries requiring veterinary care, officials said.

After an investigation into “harassment of hunters,” Donna Babic and Betty Eastman “were found guilty of obstructing” the three hunters on November 22, the state’s Department of Fisheries and Wildlife said in a statement. December 14 press release.

“I would ask Vermonters to respect everyone’s constitutional right to hunt,” Colonel Jason Batchelder, chief game warden for Fish and Wildlife, said in a statement.

A hunter and two others were using dogs to hunt black bears in the Groton State Forest with a bear leading “the dogs on private property before climbing a tree” on October 9, according to the statement.

They left the bear alone, rounded up the dogs and returned to the hunter’s truck, where they found Babic and Eastman letting air come out of his tires, officials said.

The two women, both from Groton, got into an argument with the hunters, and it was at this point that one of them let the German Shepherd out of her car, resulting in the dog attacking, according to the press release.

Private property did not belong to Babic and Eastman, who oppose the hunting of hounds, Batchelder told McClatchy News.

They believed the hunters were entering illegally and letting air escape the truck’s tires “so the hunters wouldn’t go” and the police would catch them, Batchelder said.

An investigation by a state game ranger “found that licensed and licensed bear hunters were acting legally,” the statement said.

State Police spokesperson Adam Silverman confirmed the private property belonged to a third party.

“The people of Vermont don’t always agree on how to manage wildlife, especially when it comes to big game,” Batchelder said in a statement. “Intentionally interfering with legal hunters in any way will result in legal action, especially in a potentially dangerous way, as we have seen in this case.”

The two women “were each fined $ 262 and will lose their fishing, hunting and trapping license privileges for a year,” the statement said.

“Many Vermonters oppose hunting and for a variety of reasons, including inherent cruelty to animals, inevitable violation of landowner rights, and conflict with other recreational pursuits, but we never condone it. act illegally, ”the nonprofit Protect Our Wildlife Vermont said in a statement. Facebook post of December 16.

“There are practical and sensible ways for citizens to tackle harassment which include legislative efforts and using the only tool currently available to legally protect citizens: the Posting Act,” the post added.

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