Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge
85 Mattamuskeet Road
Swan Quarter, North Carolina 27885

Contact: Jerry Fringeli 252-926-4021

News Release

February 12, 2008

Hunters Sentenced for Illegal Waterfowl Hunting on Mattamuskeet Refuge

Baited Impoundment
Baited impoundment next to the refuge.
Photo Credit: Chris Smith, FWS

Baited Area
Baited area hunted on the refuge.
Photo Credit: Chris Smith, FWS

On Monday, January 28, 2008, United States District Judge Terrence Boyle of the Eastern District of North Carolina sentenced Christopher Windley of Cary, NC to a $2,000.00 fine and two years of probation for the Attempted Take of Migratory Waterfowl Without Authorization on Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge) and the Take of Migratory Waterfowl with the aid/use of bait, adjacent to the Refuge. Malcolm Avis, of Pittsboro, NC was given a sentence of a $1,000.00 fine and 6 months of probation for the same charges. Both men had their hunting privileges cancelled for the duration of their probation.

In early January, 2007, officers with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission discovered corn and wheat in a slough on the refuge and corn in an adjacent impoundment. In addition, wounded and dead birds and empty shotgun shells were found on the refuge. The investigation of the baiting and trespassing led to the apprehension of Windley and Avis by Refuge Officers on January 20, 2007. Both hunters were observed hunting on the Refuge and over bait placed on the Refuge and in the impoundment where they killed waterfowl.

The case was handled jointly by Refuge Officers at Mattamuskeet, Pee Dee and Alligator River NWR’s and by Conservation Officers with the NC Wildlife Resources Commission. The case was prosecuted by the Assistant United States Attorney Barbara Kocher.