A Newport man is headed to jail for 30 days after his third big game conviction in five years, Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department officials said Monday.
Michael Bickford, 33, was convicted of possessing a deer that was taken during a closed season, officials said.
Bickford was found in possession of deer meat and a velvet antlered deer skull in September 2012, according to Sgt. Bradley Mann of the enforcement division for Vermont Fish and Wildlife.
Mann’s investigation showed the deer was not legally taken and therefore could not be legally possessed.
Bickford pleaded no contest to the charge in Vermont Superior Court.
Col. David LeCours, the state’s chief warden, said Bickford also has convictions in 2008 of taking deer in closed season and in 2012 for taking deer by illegal means.
Besides jail time, Bickford will lose his right to hunt, fish and trap in Vermont for three years and will have to attend a remedial hunter ethics course.
He also will lose those rights in 39 other states because Vermont is a member of the Interstate Wildlife Violators Compact, LeCours said
LeCours said Vermont wardens continue to rely heavily on confidential information provided by the public. He urged anybody witnessing illegal activity to contact a game warden through the nearest Vermont State Police barracks.
Tipsters also can contact Operation Game Thief at 1-800-75ALERT (1-800-752-5378). Rewards are paid for information leading to an arrest.