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Hunting Accident File > VIOLATIONS: > 2004

HUNTING CHARGES

Sumner County
17 February 2004
Chris Frank

A Sumner County deputy resigns, amid accusations he violated state and federal hunting laws. Brian Swingle and four others are accused of being on the wrong side of law for exceeding the legal limits for how many Canada geese they allegedly killed.

Federal authorities won't say specifically how many birds they're accused of shooting. But they describe the number as "quite excessive."

Wellington resident Carolyn Putter says a deputy should know the law.

Carolyn says, "Somebody like that knows a whole lot better than to do something like that."

That's the same thing some involved in the case are saying off camera, that a law enforcement officer is not above the law.

Just last month before this incident, former Sumner County Deputy Brian Swingle was praised for helping to nab two robbery suspects at the Wellington WalMart.

Now, he and four others are accused of bagging too many Canada geese while hunting in Harper County.

Special agent for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Manny Medina says in-season hunters are allowed to kill three Canada geese per day, and each can only possess six of the birds, or two day's limit.

Medina describes the hunter's catch as "quite excessive" but won't put an exact number on it.

Medina says the five men also face other misdemeanor hunting charges.

Canada geese are migratory birds protected by federal and state regulations.

This isn't Swingle's first legal hassle with hunting. In June of last year, Swingle agreed to diversion in a deer hunting incident.

The hunters face up to $15,000 in fines and six months in jail on each charge. Federal authorities say the hunting laws are not ambiguous. They say there's no reason for this to happen.

A court date hasn't been set.


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