Recent Press

From the Quarterly Journal of the Wilderness Canoe Association, Winter 2013:

From VT Digger:

Margolis: Nelson scolds lawmakers in bid to “save Pete” (and his hunting preserve)

By Jon Margolis on February 10, 2011

...The committee is considering legislation to overturn last year’s law, which legislative leaders snuck into a budget bill without notifying the Agency of Natural Resources (the Fish and Wildlife Department’s parent) and without letting any committee examine it.

Its purpose was to save “Pete,” the abandoned young moose who had been illegally rescued, illegally transported to Nelson’s compound, and illegally held there. “Pete” had become a nationwide cause célèbre, with “Save Pete” Facebook pages devoted to prevent state officials from removing the animal, and possibly destroying it.

The legislation, though, did much more than save “Pete.” It gave Nelson private ownership of all the wild animals in his compound, and in the process violated the Public Trust Doctrine, a roughly 1,000-year-old principal of Anglo-American law “which holds that live wild animals can be owned by no individuals, but are owned collectively by and held in trust by the government for all citizens,” as Eric Nuse, of Orion — The Hunters Institute, told the committee.

Photo of Eric Nuse.

Eric Nuse, executive director of Orion — The Hunter's Institute, told the committee that legislation passed last year violated the Public Trust Doctrine. Photo by Josh Larkin.

In response to anger from hunting groups and environmentalists, even many of the lawmakers who engineered the law’s passage last year, including then-Senate president and now Gov. Peter Shumlin, seem to acknowledge that they went too far. There is widespread support for H.91, which would restore the Public Trust Doctrine and restore jurisdiction to the Fish and Wildlife Department.

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WCAX Channel 3 TV

Destination Recreation: The tasty side of squirrels

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Vermont Warden Humor Book to be Released

JOHNSON –  “Vermont Wild,” a first of its kind collection of hilarious true adventures of Vermont Fish and Game wardens will be published by Pine Marten Press in November.

“Vermont Wild” features Eric Nuse of Johnson and fellow wardens’ encounters with gun wielding poachers, love struck moose, hungry bears, raucous raccoons and the strangest use of dynamite you’ll ever read.

Nuse is well known to many Vermonters. He spent 32 years patrolling the woods and waters of the Northeast Kingdom and organizing outdoor education.  This book is a collection of his funniest adventures. Each story is illustrated with cartoon caricatures drawn by Bob Lutz, a Vermont warden for 23 years. Megan Price, an award-winning former Vermont journalist and magazine writer is the book’s author.  Carrie Cook Designs of Cambridge created the cover art.

Titles include “Raccoon Riot, Moose Vesuvius, Gimmee the Gun, Too Loose Moose, Cover Me, Squish in the Night, Bear? Where?” and many more. The book is suitable for children aged 10 and up through retirees. Published in paperback, it is 275 pages long and retails for $19.95.

Ten percent of profits from the book’s sale will be used for wildlife  and outdoor education.

To reserve your first edition copy of Vermont Wild email:, call 802-730-8111 or order direct from

Hunting clubs, libraries, schools and those interested in multiple book orders should call or email Eric for pricing.

Notice – Books will be available November 4th. Order now to get a first edition copy.

From the Burlington Free Press

Guilty: Essex man convicted in professor's death
May 22, 2010

UPDATE: 6:50 P.M.

A jury has found an Essex man guilty of manslaughter in the shooting death of a former St. Michael's College professor.

Joseph McCarthy, 41, was convicted after more than six hours of jury deliberation, guilty the jury said of acting with "criminal negligence by setting up a shooting range in a location that was inherently dangerous and allowing for the discharge of rifles in that location."

John Reiss, 73, a former St. Michael's professor, was struck and killed by a stray bullet from that shooting range as he sat at the kitchen table of his home on Old Stage Road in Essex in September 2008.

..."There was no way to shoot safely on that range," Eric Nuse, an independent consultant who used to train hunter education instructors for the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife, testified Thursday in Vermont District Court in Burlington.

...Anyone who attended a hunter-safety course should have known better, Nuse said. McCarthy attended a hunter-safety course 10 days before the fatal shooting, Deputy Chittenden County State's Attorney Mary Morrissey said.

Nuse's 32-year career with Fish and Wildlife ended in 2003, when he took a job at the
International Hunter Education Association, a Colorado-based nonprofit, according to court papers. He became an independent consultant two years later.

When the defense asked if each shooter on a range was responsible for his own firearm, Nuse said yes, but he added that the range owner, or range officer, also was responsible for ensuring the shooters behaved responsibly.

Read more about this case: