A Vermont man who accidentally shot a friend while bear hunting in 2011 pleaded no contest to aggravated assault in Orleans District Court in Newport. Conrad Masse, 78, of Craftsbury received a deferred sentence and will have the felony charge removed from his record in 18 months with good behavior. Masse faced a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.
According to Vermont game wardens, Masse was bear hunting on the afternoon of October 30, 2011 with Wayne Goff, 60, of Wolcott. The two men were hunting with the aid of dogs. A bear passed between them and Masse fired three times with a high-powered hunting rifle. One shot hit the bear and another struck and seriously wounded Goff, hitting him near his waist. According to Masse’s attorney, Goff has recovered from the incident.
Masse was charged with aggravated assault in 1995 and was later acquitted. He has also previously been convicted of fish and wildlife law violations.
Members of the public who suspect illegal activity are requested to contact a Vermont State Game Warden immediately by calling their local State Police Barracks. You can also contact Operation Game Thief at 1-800-75ALERT (1-800-752-5378).