Women cited for harassing bear hunters

Let air out of hunters’ truck tires, sicced German Shepherd on their hounds, police say

Two Groton residents were issued citations by a game warden on Nov. 11, following the investigation of an incident of hunter harassment, Vermont Fish & Wildlife officials say. Both were found guilty of interfering with hunters on Nov. 22, in Caledonia Superior Court.

Topsham resident Theodore Shumway and two companions were hunting black bear with hounds in the 26,000-acre Groton State Forest near Noyes Pond on Oct. 9.  A bear led the hounds onto private property before climbing a tree.  The hunters entered the woods from Buzzy’s Road and retrieved the hounds, leaving the bear in the tree.

On returning to his truck with leashed hounds, Shumway encountered Donna Babic and Betty Eastman releasing air from the tires of his truck.  Following an argument between the parties, one of the two women allowed a German shepherd out of their vehicle.  The loose German Shepherd attacked and injured one of the leashed hounds, which required veterinary care.

Vermont State Troopers responded to an emergency call from Shumway to defuse the situation.  A subsequent investigation by a Vermont State Game Warden found the licensed and permitted bear hunters to be acting lawfully.  The game warden cited Babic and Eastman with violations of Title 10 VSA 4708, Interfering with Hunting, Fishing or Trapping. 

“Vermonters don’t always agree on wildlife management, especially when it comes to big game,” said Colonel Jason Batchelder, Fish and Wildlife’s Chief Game Warden.  “Even so, I would ask that Vermonters respect one another’s constitutional right to hunt.  Intentionally interfering with legal hunters in any fashion will result in court action, especially in a potentially dangerous fashion as we saw in this case.”

The department supports public engagement with wildlife management through appropriate channels, including town government, the legislature, and the Fish and Wildlife Board.

“Managing Vermont’s wildlife for a public with diverse values is a challenge and a privilege,” said Commissioner Christopher Herrick.  “I encourage all Vermonters to join me in remembering our shared passion for wildlife, no matter how different our practices or approaches may be, and to remain civil and respectful as we discuss these important conservation issues.”

Babic and Eastman were each fined $262 and will lose their license privileges for fishing, hunting and trapping for a year.

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10 replies »

  1. In the midst of Vermont’s 60 year+ culture war, it is good to know that hunting anti-harassment laws are enforced as necessary. Am I missing something here though?, Since it is one of the few wildlife violations that is typically perpetrated by those who abhor and dont engage in hunting, it makes absolutely no sense to punish such offenders by revoking their hunting privileges. Perhaps it would make more sense for the law to allow for a maximum penalty of a $10 fine for someone who catches someone messing with their vehicle and properly disciplines them “extra-judicially”.
    Admittedly I got my legal education the same way that most Americans did…by watching Perry Mason re-runs, but if you allow your vicious dog to attack another person or their pet, does that not constitute some level of illegal assault? I would hope that the hunters would at least seek to have their veterinary bill covered by the offenders.
    In my town recently, a dispute over proposed hunting restrictions on town land had a supporter threatening to play his saxophone in those woods to deter hunters until they were politely informed of the laws in place regarding hunter harassment. Even with the trivial fine levied in this Caledonia County case, it will at least serve to inform that hunters have specific legal protections against this kind of encounter, which really went beyond harassment and progressed into vandalism and assault. No matter a person’s personal morality over hunting or a particular method of hunting, vehicle vandalism crosses a big line and should be dealt with harshly. In Vermont, wildlife violations such as poaching that involve the use of a vehicle can result in the forfeiture of that vehicle. Maybe this should also apply to those who harass hunters.

  2. Hey Vermonters, I mean real Vermonter’s this is what happen when Liberals think
    they control our state and our way of life…….hit them hard and hit them often !!

    • Don’t blame ALL out-a-staters, please! I moved here in 2000 & left THERE to be HERE, NOT to make here like there, believe me. I’m also waaaay conservative/traditional as is evidenced by previous posts & agree that many (albeit not all non-natives) are very much screwing up this once independent, libertarian state in a major way…especially the imbeciles who made their way into elective office here……..Bernie Sanders as the number one example.

      What MIGHT be an alternative explanation here is that these two culprits were women. (Excuse my blatant “sexism”, but I am one myself so I’m kinda an expert). Women tend to be real softies when it comes to animals (wild & domestic) but of course that gives them ZERO right to interfere with otherwise law abiding hunters AND they ended up themselves injuring yet another animal – the hunters’ dog.

      Not too brilliant, to say the least. But then again about 2/3 of VT has gone insane, let’s remember.

      Perhaps these two ought to run for elective office……..just joking!

  3. Unhinged women showing criminal intent, assault, vandalism, and animal abuse. If someone vandalized their vehicles or hurt their dog, they would have an absolute meltdown and demand prosecution to the highest extent. Go after their insurance policies and sue them both to the hilt.

  4. Liberals suck pond water period !!
    Keep up the Great Hunting folks!!
    Don’t forget to hunt some Coyotes and save a few Deer folks!! 🐻🦌🐾❄👍👍
    The Vermonter from the Right side period!!

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