For Immediate Release
July 17, 1998

Contact: Tom MacKenzie or
Diana M. Hawkins
404-679-7287

DUCK HUNTERS BAG FINES AND NO-HUNTING SENTENCES

A dozen Louisiana hunters appearing in a Baton Rouge federal court, July 7, 1998, were ordered to pay a total of $8,930 in fines and court fees and given 1-year terms of probation. Eleven of the defendants, who appeared before magistrate Judge Docia L. Dalby, also lost all hunting privileges while they serve their terms of probation, effectively prohibiting them from hunting until the start of the September 1999 hunting season.

The Service's Southeast Regional Director, Sam D. Hamilton was pleased with ruling. "The no-hunting penalty is excellent," he said, noting that the punishment fits the crime and that "sentences like these will get hunters' attention in a hurry."

The largest fine levied to a hunter, $1,500, was for exceeding the limit on wood ducks, possession of an unplugged shotgun, possession of lead shot and for failure to obtain federal and state migratory bird hunting stamps. Another five hunters received fines varying from $460 to $960 for exceeding the field possession limit on ducks and other violations. Two more received fines of $1,010 and $860, respectively, for possessing one or more migratory game birds out of season and two others were fined $670 and $310, respectively, for taking ducks after legal hunting hours.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the primary Federal agency responsible for conservation and protection of fish, wildlife, and their habitats. The agency, under the Department of the Interior, enforces Federal wildlife laws with a nationwide force of 200 special agents and 90 wildlife inspectors. The Service manages 94 million acres with 514 national wildlife refuges, 78 ecological services field stations, 65 national fish hatcheries, 50 wildlife coordination areas, and 38 wetland management districts with waterfowl production areas.

The agency also manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, administers the Endangered Species Act, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes Federal excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state wildlife agencies. This program is a cornerstone of the Nation's wildlife management efforts, funding fish and wildlife restoration, boating access, hunter education, shooting ranges, and related projects across America.

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Release #: R98-061


1998 News Releases

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