The department says the harmless eastern hognose snakes are found in Connecticut, but not Vermont.
Game wardens say 42-year-old David Buyak, of New Hartford, told them he captured an adult male and female in the wild in Connecticut and bred them. He says 12 snakes he had were the offspring of the pair.
Wardens learned of the snakes after local officials confronted Buyak about what they believed was an unpermitted septic system. But the mound was meant to be a location where the snakes could hibernate.
Buyak was ticketed Sept. 22. He could be fined $722.
The phone rang unanswered Tuesday for a listing for Buyak.