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Forum staff reports, Published September 10 2012

Barnesville man gets probation, $1,000 fine for trapping bald eagle

FARGO – A Barnesville, Minn., man has been sentenced in U.S. District Court to a year of probation for trapping a bald eagle.

Aaron J. Reiling, 24, was also ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and to make a community service payment in the amount of $4,000 to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to benefit eagles in North Dakota.

A $25 special assessment was also ordered.

Reiling will lose hunting and trapping privileges during the period of probation.

According to information provided by the U.S. attorney’s office, a North Dakota game warden last December responded to a report that an eagle was caught in “something” east of Hillsboro.

The warden found an adult bald eagle that had a leg caught in a coil spring trap which was staked to the ground. A deer carcass had been placed within one foot of the trap, a violation of federal law.

Reiling admitted he was trapping without a valid nonresident trapping license. He also trespassed on land he did not have permission to enter, set the trap that caught the bald eagle and placed the dead deer carcass next to the trap.

The eagle was transported to the Dakota Zoo in Bismarck for care and treatment of its injuries, but it was later euthanized because its injured foot was no longer receiving blood flow.