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Press Release

Webster Men Sentenced for Taking, Killing, and Possessing Migratory Birds

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Dakota

United States Attorney Randolph J. Seiler announced that two Webster, South Dakota, men charged with Taking, Killing, and Possessing Migratory Birds pled guilty to and were sentenced on May 31, 2017, by William D. Gerdes, U.S. Magistrate Judge.

Brant Nelson, age 66 and Kirk Nelson, age 63, were sentenced to 36 months of probation, $10,850.00 joint and several restitution, $500 fine, and the loss of hunting privileges for 3 years.

The conviction stems from an incident that took place in the spring of 2016, when the Nelsons shot and killed over 200 pelicans and double-crested cormorants. Both species are migratory birds that are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and cannot be lawfully hunted or killed under any circumstances. The Nelsons shot the birds from their property that borders a small lake in Day County.

The investigation was conducted by the South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks Department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Clapper.

Updated June 16, 2017