U.S. Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that a Highmore, South Dakota, man charged with Unlawful Taking of a Golden Eagle and Migratory Birds was sentenced on August 10, 2011, by U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark A. Moreno. Michael L. Solberg, age 43, was sentenced to pay a $1,250 fine, $10,000 in restitution, and forfeiture of a Remington Model 700 rifle.
Michael L. Solberg owns and operates The Grand Lodge in Highmore, South Dakota, a pheasant hunting lodge. Mr. Solberg has a hunting preserve license with the State of South Dakota that allows him to conduct commercially guided pheasant hunts. Since the lodge’s opening in 2008, Mr. Solberg has shot at and/or killed Bald and Golden Eagles and multiple species of hawks, specifically Red-Tailed Hawks and Rough-Legged Hawks. Mr. Solberg admitted to shooting at and killing at least one Golden Eagle and 20 hawks since September 2008. Mr. Solberg shot at and/or killed the eagles and hawks in an effort to protect his pheasants for his hunting business. Mr. Solberg admitted he used a Remington Model 700 rifle to take a Golden Eagle.
This case was investigated by U.S. Fish and Wildlife, Law Enforcement Division. Assistant U.S. Attorney Meghan N. Dilges prosecuted the case.