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BILL AS PASSED HOUSE AND SENATE 2007-2008

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H.557

AN ACT RELATING TO POSTPONING THE SUNSET OF THE FISH AND WILDLIFE BOARD’S AUTHORITY TO ADOPT RULES REGULATING THE DEER HERD

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  Sec. 7 of  No. 136 of  the acts  of the 2003 Adj. Sess. (2004) is amended to read:

Sec. 7.  EFFECTIVE DATES; TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS

(a)  Sec. 1 of this act shall take effect on July 1, 2004.  At that time, the governor shall appoint fish and wildlife board members to fill all terms which have expired as well as seven new members to ensure that each county is represented on the board.  However, the governor shall appoint the new members to terms of two to six years in a way which ensures that no more than three and no fewer than two terms expire in any one year.  After 2004, members shall be appointed to six‑year terms.

(b)  Secs. 2, 3, 4, and 5 of this act shall take effect on July 1, 2004.  However, on passage of this act, the fish and wildlife board is authorized to adopt temporary rules regarding management of the deer herd and shall follow the procedures for rulemaking contained in chapter 25 of Title 3 to the extent reasonably possible.  For each such rule, the board shall conduct a hearing but, when necessary, may schedule the hearing for a day before the terms of the rule are expected to be determined.  Rules adopted under this subsection shall:

(1)  make provision for a regular rifle hunting season pursuant to section 4741 of Title 10, and for an archery season and a muzzle loader season unless there is a scientific reason not to do so.

(2)  remain in effect until the board has adopted permanent rules regarding management of the deer herd or July 1, 2005, whichever is sooner.

(c)  Secs. 6 and 7 of this act shall take effect on passage.

(d)  Secs. 2, 3, and 4 of this act are repealed on June 30, 2009 2014.

Sec. 2.  Sec. 5 of No. 136 of the acts of  the 2003 Adj. Sess. (2004) is amended to read:

Sec. 5.  SUSPENSION

(a)  The following sections of Title 10 shall not be in effect from July 1, 2004 through June 30, 2009 2014:

(1)  § 4743, relating to muzzle loader season.

(2)  § 4744, relating to bow and arrow season.

(3)  § 4753, relating to annual deer limit.

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Sec. 3.  10 V.S.A. § 4705 is amended to read:

§ 4705.  SHOOTING FROM MOTOR VEHICLES OR AIRCRAFT; PERMIT

(a)  A person shall not take, or attempt to take, a wild animal by shooting from a motor vehicle, motorboat, airplane, snowmobile, or other motor propelled craft or any vehicle drawn by a motor propelled vehicle except as permitted under subsection (e) of this section.

(b)  A person shall not carry or possess while in or on a vehicle propelled by mechanical power or drawn by a vehicle propelled by mechanical power within the right of way of a public highway a rifle or shotgun containing a loaded cartridge or shell in the chamber, mechanism, or in a magazine, or clip within a rifle or shotgun, or a muzzle-loading rifle or shotgun that has been charged with powder and projectile and the ignition system of which has been enabled by having an affixed or attached percussion cap, primer, battery, or priming powder, except as permitted under subsections (d) and (e) of this section.  A person who possesses a rifle or shotgun in or on a vehicle propelled by mechanical power, or drawn by a vehicle propelled by mechanical power within a right of way of a public highway shall upon demand of an enforcement officer exhibit the firearm for examination to determine compliance with this section.

(c)  A person while on or within ten feet of the traveled portion of a public highway shall not take or attempt to take any wild animal by shooting with a firearm or bow and arrow.

(d)  This section shall not restrict the possession or use of a loaded firearm by an enforcement officer in performance of his duty.

(e)  Subsection (a) of this section shall not apply to a licensed hunter who is a paraplegic or is certified by a physician to be unable to pursue game because of permanent severe physical disability, if he obtains a permit as provided in this subsection.  The commissioner on receipt of satisfactory proof of the disability of an applicant may issue a permit under this subsection.  This permit shall be attached to the license, and shall remain in effect until the death of the holder, unless the commissioner has reason to believe the permit is misused.  The holder of the permit shall carry it at all times while hunting, and shall produce it on demand for inspection by any game warden or other law enforcement officer authorized to make arrests.  The holder of the permit may take game from a vehicle or boat but only if it is stationary and off of a public highway.  In no event shall the holder of a permit shoot across the traveled portion of a public highway.

(f)  The phrase “public highway,” as used in this section, means roads shown on the highway maps of the respective towns, made by the agency of transportation, but does not include foot trails or private roads.

Sec. 4.  10 V.S.A. § 4502 is amended to read:

§ 4502.  UNIFORM POINT SYSTEM; REVOCATION OF LICENSE

(a)  A uniform point system which assigns points to those convicted of a violation of a provision of this part is established.  The conviction report from the court shall be prima facie evidence of the points assessed.  In addition to other penalties assessed for violation of fish and wildlife statutes, the commissioner shall suspend licenses issued under this part which are held by a person who has accumulated ten or more points in accordance with the provisions of subsection (c) of this section.

(b)  A person violating provisions of this part shall receive points for convictions in accordance with the following schedule (all sections are in Title 10 of Vermont Statutes Annotated):

(1)  Five points shall be assessed for any violation of statutes or rules adopted under this part except those listed in subdivisions (2) and (3) of this subsection.

(2)  Ten points shall be assessed for:

(A)  § 4148. Trespass on state property

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(HH)  § 4827. A black bear doing damage

(JJ)  Appendix § 37, as it applied to annual deer limits.

(3)  Twenty points shall be assessed for:

(A)  § 4192.  General powers and duties-failure to obey warden

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(T)  § 4521.  Failure to stop

(U)  Appendix § 37, excluding violations of annual deer limits, requirements for youth deer hunting weekend, and limitations on feeding of deer.

(4)  In addition to other points assessed under this subsection, a person shall be assessed one point for each fish, bird, animal or pelt possessed, taken, transported, bought or sold in excess of the limits established in statutes or rules adopted under this part.

(c)  Licenses shall be suspended as follows:

(1)  For ten to 14 points accumulated in five years-a one-year suspension.

(2)  For 15 to 19 points accumulated in five years-a two-year suspension.

(3)  For 20 or more points accumulated in five years-a three-year suspension.

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Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us