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Hunter penalized for shooting wrong bird


WAUPACA, Wis. (WSAU) -- A mistake by a hunter last fall led to serious penalties. Department of Natural Resources Conservation Warden Ted Dremel works in the Waupaca area. Dremel says a hunter shot what he thought was an albino sandhill crane. There is no such thing. The hunter had in fact shot a radio-tagged whooping crane, which was found dead in a Waupaca County wheat field. Warden Dremel says the hunter was remorseful and realized afterwards he had made a mistake.

The Wisconsin hunter was sentenced in United States Magistrate Court in Green Bay for violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. He was sentenced to pay a $500 Migratory Bird Treaty Act fine and $1,500 in restitution to the International Crane Foundation. His hunting and fishing rights also were revoked nationwide for two years.

State officials say they also get occasional reports of crop damage from migratory birds, but you still can’t kill the endangered species. Instead, contact the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Wildlife Service Program at 608-837-2727 for assistance.