Conservation officers catch pair of brothers poaching swans in Baraga County
MARQUETTE— A complaint called in to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ Report All Poaching hotline resulted in two brothers being ticketed for illegally killing a pair of trumpeter swans on Sept. 28 – the opening day of waterfowl hunting season in the Upper Peninsula.
Trumpeter swans are state and federally protected waterfowl, meaning they are illegal to hunt.
Conservation Officer Cody Smith, who patrols Baraga County, was on waterfowl patrol when the tip was called in to the RAP hotline.
“I received a complaint that someone had shot multiple swans in the Sturgeon River sloughs,” Smith said.
Smith contacted his partner, Conservation Officer Doug Hermanson, who patrols Houghton County, to assist. The two conservation officers met at the Sturgeon River Sloughs Wildlife Area, located south of Chassell along U.S. 41.
Several groups of waterfowl hunters were in the area. Smith and Hermanson surveyed the area and identified the suspects reported to the RAP dispatcher – two brothers in their late 20s, from Houghton.
Smith and Hermanson conducted a routine waterfowl check and found one of the hunters in possession of lead shot. Lead shot is toxic when ingested and is illegal to use for hunting waterfowl.