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2 Swans Dead (Stupid People)


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Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) officials report that two trumpeter swans were recently killed during two separate incidents on Sept. 25, which was opening weekend of the 2004 waterfowl hunting season.

Conservation Officer Rick Reller, Buffalo, investigated a Turn In Poachers (TIP) call about two individuals - one adult and one juvenile - who had shot a trumpeter swan on Millstone Lake in Wright County. Reller charged both individuals with shooting a protected non-game migratory bird. The hunters also received written warnings for taking waterfowl before legal shooting hours and setting decoys more than one hour before legal shooting hours. The adult hunter also received a written warning for taking a migratory waterfowl with a shotgun capable of holding more than three shells.

The other incident occurred on Nelson Lake in Aitkin County. Conservation Officer Mike Scott, Brookston, received a TIP call where several hunters had witnessed a person shoot and kill an adult female trumpeter swan. The individual told the officer that he was sure that he shot a snow goose, not a trumpeter swan. Scott charged the suspect with shooting a trumpeter swan and seized the hunter's license and firearms in accordance with the new gross over-limit law. The hunter faces restitution charges of $1,000 for killing the swan as well as other criminal charges. The swan will be donated to an area high school in Aitkin for educational purposes.

The trumpeter swan is a threatened species. According to the new law, people who shoot them face fines up to $3,000, possible loss of their shotguns and hunting licenses and restitution charges of $1000. Hunters who shoot and kill a trumpeter swan will lose their small game and waterfowl hunting privileges for three years upon conviction.

The DNR urges anyone with information regarding swan-shooting incidents to call the TIP Hotline at 1-800-652-9093.

Steve Kittelson, DNR Trumpeter Swan Restoration Project leader, said Minnesota's flock of trumpeter swans now consists of more than 1,500 adult swans and approximately 400 young of the year, called cygnets.

"These free-flying birds could show up virtually anywhere in the state," Kittelson said. "To avoid accidentally shooting a swan during the waterfowl season, hunters must learn the differences in both size and markings between protected swans and legal ducks and geese."

Kittelson said swans are three to four times the size of a Canada goose. The all-white adult swans and the light gray cygnets are much larger than geese and have much longer necks equal to their body lengths. The much smaller Canada goose has a distinctive black head with white cheek patches and its neck is only half of its body length. Snow geese are white but have black wing tips and have much shorter necks than swans.

"Trumpeter swans usually travel in small family groups of two adults and two or six cygnets. In contrast, geese usually travel in larger flocks of up to 100 birds," Kittelson said.

The trumpeter swan disappeared from Minnesota in the 1880s. Restoration efforts began in Minnesota with the release of 40 swans by Hennepin Parks (Three Rivers Park District) in the late 1960s.

The DNR Nongame Wildlife Program joined the effort in 1982 to accelerate the restoration and have successfully released more than 300 trumpeter swans. Kittelson urges hunters to be sure of their targets and help ensure the safety of these magnificent birds in Minnesota.

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The guy was totally illegal. No plug in gun, shooting before time, early decoys. Very sad situation. I hunt early goose about 5 miles from this lake. We had two swans land in our decoys out in the field. Was one of the sweetest things I have ever seen hunting. I couldn't believe how big they were being only 10 feet away. They made the honkers we shot look like teal.

[This message has been edited by duckbill (edited 10-07-2004).]

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I crack up every year it's the same story "I thought it was a snow goose!"...morons. Lake I hunt in NC minnesota has a family on it and it's a duck lake not a fishing lake. Great birds to watch and can't say they haven't come into the dekes through the fog and freaked us out but for the love of god hold your fire until you know what your target is, Isn't that one of the 10 commandments of gun safety or don't they teach that anymore?

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Ever heard of reading the regulations? People like this don't deserve the opportunity to hunt. mad.gif

Written warnings? I hope the CO took everything they had in possession!!!

[This message has been edited by ChuckN (edited 10-07-2004).]

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This is pathetic.........the Top guy gets off mostly with Written Warnings even though he is COMPLETELY illegal. Where as guy #2 gets a major fine??? And of course he claims he shot a snow goose, sure he's wrong. But from the post he at least (only) shot the Swan.....which I'm not saying isn't bad. But he did this and got whacked, the other guy did a bunch more and Nothing!

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

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    • the wife and I took a little drive to Arkansas for one more ride. 
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