Three Eastern Iowa men have been charged with shooting a trumpeter swan in Muscatine County.

27-year-old Austin McMillan of West Branch, 26-year-old Daniel Solorio-Oldenburg of Cedar Rapids, and 28-year-old Mitchell Kesterson of Van Horne were each charged with one count of attempt to take wildlife and abandonment of wildlife.

Iowa DNR officials received a call on Sunday that a trumpeter swan had been shot at the Cedar Bottoms Wildlife Management Area in Muscatine County. When officers arrived, the suspects were already gone. But evidence left at the scene led officers to the three men. When the DNR later interview them, they admitted to shooting the trumpeter swan, saying they mistook it for a snow goose. It is legal to hunt snow geese in certain seasons.

Trumpeter swans are native to Iowa, but their populations were wiped out by overhunting and the draining of wetlands. They have enjoyed a resurgence in population since 2017. The DNR says the case illustrates the importance of properly identifying your target when hunting.

 

[via Gazette]