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DNR Seeks Information in Illegal Swan Hunting

November 8, 2011

From MyFoxTwinCities.com

5 federally-protected trumpeter swans killed

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is seeking information on a number of recent trumpeter swan deaths, and warns that anyone who kills one of the federally-protected species will face fines of up to $1,700 and could be barred from hunting for years.

Each autumn, DNR officials warn waterfowl hunters to avoid mistaking trumpeter swans for a game bird by printing notices and posting warning signs on lakes frequented by swans; however, five have been killed so far this year.

“There’s really no excuse for shooting one because Minnesota hunters won’t encounter any other waterfowl as large as a trumpeter swan,” said Col. Jim Konrad, DNR Enforcement director.

Trumpeter swans are white with long necks, can weigh up to 28 pounds, be 59 to 72 inches long and have wingspans of up to 8 feet. In comparison, snow geese are smaller than the Canada geese, weighing only 6 or 7 pounds and averaging between 25 and 31 inches long.

“It’s like comparing a bus with a minivan," Konrad said.

On top of fines, hunters who mistakenly kill a trumpeter swan run the risk of having their equipment confiscated and losing their hunting licenses for up to three years.

Two men are currently facing charges for killing two trumpeter swans in the Carlos Avery Wildlife Management area, but there have been three other shootings that authorities are still investigating:

A trumpeter swan was shot and killed in Kandiyohi County and found along a gravel road near a large slough.

A trumpeter swan was shot and killed near Brownton.

A trumpeter swan was shot and killed near Pine River.

“Someone out there can help us solve these cases,” Konrad said.

Anyone with information should call the Turn-In-Poachers hotline at (800) 652-9093.

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