CONCORD, N.H. — A New Hampshire lawmaker who shot a squirrel in his yard and shared a graphic photo of it on Twitter lost his seat on a legislative committee Friday.
Deerfield Republican Rep. Jim Spillane shared a photo of the animal’s bloody carcass on May 26 in response to a vegan animal rights activist. “I shot a squirrel on my bird feeder today with a .50 caliber muzzleloader. Enjoy,” he wrote.
The tweet prompted a complaint to the state Fish and Game Department, which sent officers to Spillane’s home to tell him he did not have the legal right to kill the squirrel outside the hunting season, which runs from Sept. 1 to Jan. 1. Democratic House Speaker Steve Shurtleff said Friday Spillane was removed from the House Fish and Game Committee due to that warning.
Spillane, who is serving his fourth term in the Legislature, did not return a call seeking comment. He told the Union Leader earlier this week he was justified in killing the squirrel because it was invading his chicken coop, but Fish and Game Col. Kevin Jordan said a state law that allows property owners to kill animals that are causing substantial damage to crops, livestock or property didn’t apply in this case.
“What I was really upset about was the posting of a mutilated animal on social media in a tone that was taunting to other people,” said Jordan, chief of the agency’s law enforcement division. “That’s not what sportsmen do.”