Tensions have been on the rise for years over the issue of bear hunting with hounds in Vermont. However, one incident recently led to assault charges when a Vermont woman assaulted a group of hunters with bear spray.
Butch Spear, former president of the Vermont Bearhound Association, was legally training a pack of bear hounds near Groton State Forest with friends when they were confronted by an angry anti-hunter in the road.
Spear said the woman walked into the public road to block him from passing, and then pepper sprayed he and his friends after a heated exchange of words.
“My first words to her were to ask her to get out of the road,” says Spear. “She told me to go F myself and a bunch of other things.”
As you can imagine, things escalated quickly from there.
In the end, Vermont Fish & Wildlife game wardens cited Liza Nanni, 61, for interferring with a hunter, simple assault, and disorderly conduct. She will appear in court September 26th in Caledonia County Superior Court.
Spear says he believes the woman should face additional charges and jail time, especially considering that one of the victims was a youth.
“That 13-year-old did not deserve to be pepper sprayed,” Spear said. “That 13-year-old did not deserve what she said and what she did.”
State officials agree the incident went entirely too far, condemning the actions of Nanni and the hunter harassment that ensued in the middle of the road.
“I strongly condemn the criminal behavior that occurred in Groton,” Vermont Fish & Wildlife Commissioner Christopher Herrick said in a press release. “No matter how different our practices or approaches may be, we all must remain civil and respectful as we enjoy the outdoors.”
What do you think? What should be the price to pay for hunter harassment? Comment below, and let us know your thoughts on the issue.