VTF&W wardens off to a busy hunting season

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Two high-profile incidents of poaching recently have kept Vermont game wardens busy. And with rifle season starting in just 10 days, state officials expect the calls to ramp up fast.

Col. Jason Batchelder/File

Vermont Fish & Wildlife's Col Jason Batchelder says wardens are faced with 60 to 80 thousand hunters, and dealing with the problems that arise from that many people participating in a regulated activity. And on top of that he says wardens also have to put forward a good image of the department.

"That's exhausting for them. They do a great job, but that's a very big challenge, especially when everyone is really just out there to have a good time -- bag the biggest buck they can -- and then we come along and be the fun police, so that can wear on them," he said.

He says they get about 4,000 calls over the course of deer season, ranging from hunters using illegal methods to safety in the woods.