HomeOutdoorsNewsMichigan Man Confesses to Poaching Three Hawks To Spite His Utility Company

Michigan Man Confesses to Poaching Three Hawks To Spite His Utility Company

by Megan Molseed
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(Getty Images/ Alex Ramsel)

A Michigan man is facing probation and major fines after pleading “no contest” to accusations that he poached three hawks. An action, the 65-year-old man says he made to spite a utility company for refusing to remove trees from his property. The officials wouldn’t remove the trees, reports note, because these protected birds had a wildlife habitat within these particular trees.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources Received A Tip Regarding The Poached Hawks Soon After The Incident

According to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources officials, the man, Arthur Anderson, requested that the utility company removes the trees from his property in June. However, the utility company refused to remove the trees because the hawks were residing within them. So Anderson decided to remove the hawks from the location by poaching the protected animals.

“In June, Anderson hired a utility company to remove trees on his property,” notes a recently released statement from the Michigan DNR.

“When the utility company refused to disturb the trees due to the birds’ habitat, Anderson retrieved a shotgun from his house and shot the nest at least five times,” the statement continues. “[Three] dead hawks then fell to the ground.”

It was soon after this incident that the Michigan DNR received the anonymous tip about illegal activity and conservation officers responded by interviewing Anderson at his home and collecting evidence.

The DNR received an anonymous tip about Arthur’s actions soon afterward. Conservation officers then went out to Anderson’s home to interview him and collect evidence. According to the reports, Anderson initially lied about what happened, telling the DNR that he was aiming for some annoying squirrels. Eventually, however, the man came clean admitting that he shot the hawks because he was angry about the utility company’s decision.

The Birds Are Federally Protected Under the U.S. Migratory Bird Act

These Hawks are protected federally under a specific migratory bird act, the DNR officials explain. And it’s against the law to shoot them all across the U.S. Additionally, these hawks held a spot on Michigan’s species of special concern list until only recently.

Anderson pleaded “no contest” on December 9 to the poaching charges that stemmed from the incident. His fines amount to $1,500 per bird, totaling $4.500 in reimbursements. The Michigan man also faces at least six months probation. The DNR confiscated the gun used to kill the protected raptors.

“The Michigan Department of Natural Resources greatly appreciates the court system’s support in this case,” notes the Michigan DNR’s Law Enforcement Chief Dave Shaw.

“All birds of prey are protected at the state and federal level,” Shaw explains. “And are an important and enjoyable part of Michigan’s natural environment.”   

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