A Poultney man was ordered to pay a $400 fine last Tuesday after being convicted during a bench trial in Rutland criminal court for baiting deer.

James A. Marchaland, 59, was arraigned on the misdemeanor charge in January. He faced a possible penalty of 60 days imprisonment and a fine of up to $1,000. The fine of $400 was the mandatory minimum.

In an affidavit, Game Warden Dustin Circe said the investigation of Marchaland began in November 2018 after an anonymous tip was received through the Operation Game Thief website.

The tip reported a salt block about 75 yards south of a shooting shack beyond Marchaland's home on Morse Hollow Road in Poultney.

Circe said he didn't find a salt rock but found more than 30 apples “concentrated” in an area about 6 feet square on the north side of an apple tree on Nov. 9, 2018. Circe noted about six other apple trees in the area but said there were no apples on the trees or under them, as they were under the tree near Marchaland's shooting shack.

On Nov. 10, 2018, the opening day of rifle deer season, Circe spoke to Marchaland, the affidavit said.

Circe said Marchaland admitted bringing the apples in himself and placing them as Circe had seen them.

After a one-day trial in front of Judge David Fenster on Tuesday, Marchaland was found guilty and ordered to pay the $400 fee and about $150 in court fees.

The case was prosecuted by Rutland County Deputy State's Attorney Karen Reynolds. Marchaland was represented by attorney Matthew Hart.

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