Pierre Man Convicted of Unlawful Taking of Migratory Birds
Assistant United States Attorney
United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that Charles M. Ross, d/b/a ScatterGun Lodge, age 69, of Pierre, South Dakota, was convicted July 2, 2012, as a result of a federal court trial in Pierre of four counts of Unlawful Taking of Migratory Birds. This charge carries a maximum penalty of 6 months of imprisonment, a $15,000 fine, and a $10 special assessment for each count.
Ross was charged by Information on August 2, 2011. The conviction arose from charges that Ross told his employees that if they saw hawks, they were to shoot them in an effort to protect the lodge's interest in captive raised pheasants that were released on the property and subsequently hunted by commercial clients. The dead hawks were buried, placed in the bird "gut" pile, or in the burn pile.
This case was investigated by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jay Miller.