Stillwater Police: Two 'Responsible Hunters' Shoot Geese Out of Season, Dump Birds at Gas Station
March 15, 2012
By Shawn Hogendorf, Stillwater.Patch.com
After shooting two Canadian Geese out of season and then dumping
the birds in a parking lot, an 18-year-old Baytown Township man
reportedly told police he and his hunting buddy were “responsible
hunters" and turned themselves in to "do the right thing.”
Two Stillwater area men were cited for shooting Canadian Geese out
of season after an eyewitness reportedly saw the men try to dump the
dead waterfowl in a Dumpster at Lucky’s Gas Station.
Patrick Dierberger, 18, of Baytown Township and Benjamin John Vaage,
19, of Stillwater, were each cited on Wednesday for taking game out
of season, a federal charge, and wanton wasting.
to the police report:
A woman at Lucky’s Gas Station on
Greeley Street saw the two men pull into the parking lot in a van,
open the sliding door and then dump two Canadian Geese out of the
vehicle and onto a parking lot stall.
The men then
reportedly got back in the vehicle and left.
arrived, the officers found the two dead geese, which appeared to
have been shot at a very close range.
The witness was able
to provide police with a license plate number, so officers went to
Dierberger’s home to speak with him.
As police arrived,
dispatch informed the officers that Dierberger had called to say he
dumped two birds at the gas station and wanted to talk with police.
The officer called the man by phone and set up a meeting at the
police station. Dierberger told police he was downtown with Vaage
and agreed to meet with police.
Dierberger told police he
didn’t want to speak with a lawyer, but rather that he was a
“Christian” and needed to “clear his conscience and take
Dierberger reportedly told police he and
his friend, Vaage, were in a goose blind in Dierberger’s backyard in
the 5000 block of Neal Avenue when the men shot the two geese.
After giving a conflicting report, the Dierberger eventually owned
up to shooting one of the birds with a rifle while it stood in a mud
puddle. The other bird was grounded by a shotgun shot from Vaage as
it attempted to fly away, and then Dierberger reportedly killed it
with a second rifle blast, followed by smashing the bird with a
After shooting the birds, the men allegedly
brought the geese onto the deck to clean them. But after Vaage read
the DNR Hunting Regulations online the duo realized they took the
The men then told police they got nervous,
put the birds in a bag—so the garbage wouldn’t stink—and drove to
downtown Stillwater to discard them.
As the duo pulled into
the gas station, Dierberger tried to drag the bag of dead geese out
of the van, but the bag ripped and both birds spilled out onto the
Dierberger told police, “He freaked out and didn’t
know what to do.” He didn’t want to carry the dead birds by the feet
in plain view, so he got in the van and the duo fled.
thinking about what happened, the men each told police they had to
clear their conscience because they were “responsible hunters and
wanted to do the right thing.”
Both men reportedly had taken
gun safety class together and have been hunting for years.
Dierberger told police they thought they could hunt Canadian Geese
during the early hunting season that started March 1—a season
reserved for hunting snow geese.
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