SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal jury found William Louis Filter, 46, of Live Oak, guilty on Tuesday of unlawful baiting and unlawful taking of a migratory game bird by aid of bait, Acting United States Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
The evidence at the two-day trial showed that Filter baited a field on his family’s hunting ranch in the Sutter Buttes by covering it with birdseed to attract mourning doves. On September 1, 2015, which is opening day of mourning dove season, Filter returned to that baited field with his three hunting buddies. Altogether, Filter and his friends shot and killed 34 mourning doves over the baited fields.
Mourning doves are a migratory game bird. It is lawful to hunt mourning doves during the appropriate hunting season. It is unlawful, however, to hunt mourning doves using bait. Baiting means placing, distributing, or scattering of salt, grain, or other feed that could serve as a lure or attractions for migratory game birds to any areas where hunters are attempting to take them.
This case is the product of an investigation by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Special Assistant United States Attorneys Benjamin Nelson and Elliot Wong prosecuted the case.
Filter is scheduled to be sentenced on June 6, 2016, by United States Magistrate Judge Allison Claire. Filter faces a maximum statutory penalty of one year in prison, a $100,000 fine, and a one-year term of supervised release. The actual sentenced will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.