Sutter County Man Sentenced to 3 Years of Probation for Violating Migratory Bird Laws
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — William Louis Filter, 46, of Live Oak, was sentenced today to three years of probation for unlawful baiting and the unlawful taking of a migratory game bird by aid of bait, Acting United States Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
On May 4, 2016, a jury found Filter guilty after a two-day trial. The evidence at trial showed that Filter baited a field on his family’s hunting ranch in the Sutter Buttes by covering it with birdseed in order to attract mourning doves. On September 1, 2015, which is opening day of mourning dove season, Filter returned to the baited field with three others. Altogether, they shot and killed 34 mourning doves in less than three hours.
At the sentencing hearing, it was revealed that Filter had a history of fish and game violations, causing his hunting privileges to be revoked between 2009 and 2012.
During probation, Filter is required to obey the following special conditions: serve a three-year ban from hunting; surrender his hunting license to the U.S. Attorney’s Office; perform 120 hours of community service at a nonprofit organization that benefits animal welfare, nature conservation, or the environment; and, pay a $5,000 fine within six months.
This case was the product of an investigation by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Special Assistant United States Attorneys Benjamin Nelson and Elliot Wong prosecuted the case.