PITTSFORD, Vt. — A Vermont man is accused of clubbing his mother with a rifle because she took his deer meat.

The Rutland Herald reports that 21-year-old Pittsford resident Zachary Merriam pleaded not guilty Monday to a charge of first-degree aggravated domestic assault with a weapon.

The woman told police that Merriam did not try to shoot her, but she feared the gun might go off accidentally.

Police say Merriam denied hitting the woman. He said they had been arguing because she was stealing from him and had cut meat off a deer that he shot.

He was released on the condition that he stay away from his mother.

An attorney for Merriam did not return a call seeking comment.

Information from: Rutland Herald, http://www.rutlandherald.com/

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