Published: Feb 02, 2011 9:04 PM EST
Updated: Feb 02, 2011 6:04 PM EST

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - A New Hampshire farmer who became a folk hero to gun rights activists has won early release from prison.

 The New Hampshire Executive Council voted unanimously Wednesday to free Ward Bird, just two months into his three-year sentence for threatening a woman who trespassed on his property with a gun.

 The 49-year-old Bird had sought a full pardon to clear his name.

Bird's felony conviction for criminal threatening with a firearm remains on his record. He can no longer possess guns.

Corrections officials said Bird will be released from the Carroll County jail as soon as they have the official paperwork in hand, even if it's after the close of business hours.

 (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)