August 18, 2016
Michael Crawford, 31, of Arlington, Vermont was arraigned on Monday August 15 following an eight-month investigation by game wardens, spurred by a tip to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department's Facebook page. The tip linked to a photo of Crawford on his Facebook page posing with an 8-point white-tailed buck that he allegedly took during Vermont's 2015 November deer season.
Crawford's Facebook post generated complaints and comments that the deer had been shot at night with a rifle. Crawford is a locally known convicted felon and not allowed to possess a firearm.
In an initial investigation, Crawford reported he harvested the deer on November 16 in Danby and that it was a 183 lb. 8-point buck taken with a muzzleloader. Additional investigation and input from responsible sportsmen revealed that the deer was taken in the Village of Manchester in the area of Union Street.
A direct witness reported that the deer was shot at about 8:00 p.m. with the aid of car headlights in a field adjacent to Union Street and Richville Road.
At his arraignment, Mr. Crawford pled "not guilty" in Bennington Superior Court to the charges of taking big game by illegal means - second offense, and taking game by illegal methods - the headlights of a car. He faces a fine of $1,000 to $2,000 for each offense and possible imprisonment for up to 60 days. He also faces a possible restitution charge of up to $2,000 for killing the buck.
Media Contacts: Sgt. Travis Buttle, 802-442-4383; Col. Jason Batchelder, 802-828-1529
Source: Department of Fish and Wildlife
Last Updated at: August 18, 2016 15:26:01