Former Vermont Bearhound Association president found after search
Newbury resident Ellsworth “Butch” Spear, 69, who was reported missing late Thursday afternoon, was found early Friday afternoon after a search by Vermont State Police and Fish and Wildlife Wardens, according to a Vermont State Police news release.
Spear had trained her hunting dogs on Thursday afternoon on Gore Road in Plainfield, police said in the statement. He told his wife he was to pick up one of the dogs around 4:30 p.m. Thursday. When he was not heard from for several hours, his wife alerted the authorities and the search began.
Spear was found safe on Friday afternoon after emerging from the woods near Pigeon Pond in Groton. He told police he became disoriented in the woods Thursday night and was able to find his way Friday morning.
Spear is the past president of the Vermont Bearhound Association, which works to preserve the right to hunt, among other hunting rights. Last December he was part of a video that went viral when the owner of Gold-Shaw Farm in Peacham took issue with spear hunting on his property. The video sparked a statewide debate over the legality of bear hunting in Vermont.
Earlier this month, a Groton resident got into an altercation with Spear and two other hunters after he stopped them in the middle of a road in Groton, state police said. The resident also sprayed the hunters with pepper spray and now faces three counts stemming from the incident.