Animal advocates are calling for the prosecution of a Vermont hunter, Logan Bogie, on charges of animal cruelty after he allegedly shot a deer with a crossbow and failed to immediately euthanize it. The incident occurred when Bogie discovered the injured deer still alive after leaving it for about 45 minutes to find assistance in lifting it into his truck. Instead of killing the animal, he posed for photos and videos with it. The deer was eventually put out of its misery, but authorities claim it suffered for more than an hour before its death.
This case has sparked a heated debate between animal rights activists and hunters in Vermont. While hunting and trapping are long-established traditions in the state, there is a growing movement of wildlife activists challenging these practices. The clash between the rural and traditional Vermont and the more progressive social attitudes of contemporary Vermont is at the heart of this conflict.
The evidence against Bogie came to light when his hunting license was suspended, and his cellphone was seized. The authorities found photos and videos indicating that he had illegally hunted deer with a crossbow. As a result, Bogie now faces 18 hunting charges that could result in fines and jail time.
Animal welfare advocates are calling for Bogie to be charged with animal cruelty, a more serious offense that carries a prison sentence of up to a year. However, Vermont’s animal cruelty law does not apply to activities regulated by the Department of Fish and Wildlife, such as hunting. Therefore, the state prosecutor has stated that she cannot file animal cruelty charges against Bogie based on the current law.
Advocacy groups are now urging the state legislature to change the law to allow for animal cruelty charges in cases like this. They believe that it is necessary to hold hunters accountable for their actions when they go beyond the limits of hunting regulations.
The Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs, a group representing hunters, expressed willingness to support legislation that criminalizes the torture of wild animals. They believe that responsible hunters would agree that such actions should be considered criminal.
In the meantime, the case against Bogie remains uncertain. Prosecutors have indicated that they may seek prison time, which has led Bogie to request a public defender. It is unclear when or if the case will go to trial.
This contentious case highlights the ongoing tension between animal rights advocates and hunters in Vermont. As the state grapples with conflicting social attitudes, it remains to be seen whether changes will be made to the animal cruelty law to better address cases like this.