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Forum News Service, Published November 07 2013

DNR cites hunter in shooting of tundra swan

A Baudette, Minn., man faces fines and restitution of $375 for shooting and killing a tundra swan Oct. 23 in Lake of the Woods County.

Steven L. Theis, 26, was charged with shooting a nongame migratory bird, a misdemeanor.

A Minnesota Department of Natural Resources conservation officer received a Turn in Poachers call that a swan had been shot by two people duck hunting in a boat on Four-Mile Bay of Lake of the Woods.

When the men returned to shore, they were told by Capt. Jim Dunn that there had been a complaint that they had shot a swan, and he asked them where the swan was located.

Theis admitted to shooting the swan and later throwing it into the weeds when he learned that swans are a federally protected species and not legal to shoot in Minnesota, Dunn said.

“He explained to me that the swan, that he thought was a snow goose, had landed about 100 yards from his duck decoys,” Dunn said. “He honked at it a couple of times on his goose call, and the swan took off from the water and flew directly at him and swung around his end of the boat. As it did so, he shot it.”

Conservation officers recovered the swan inside a weed bed the next day.