MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Lino Lakes man was sentenced to 90 days in jail Wednesday after he pleaded guilty to killing two federally protected trumpeter swans.
Anoka County prosecutors say 25-year-old Connor Walsh was convicted on two misdemeanor charges; one for hunting protected birds, and the other, hunting small game without a license. Walsh was sentenced to serve 90 days in jail, with 81 days stayed. The court is giving Walsh credit for nine days served. He will also be placed on one year of supervised probation.
Walsh will also have to pay a $200 fine, $88 in fees and $1,000 restitution to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. He must also forfeit his shotgun.
According to a criminal complaint, DNR conservation officers saw Walsh on Sept. 28, 2018 in a kayak on Rice Lake, following a trumpeter swan on open water. The officers witnessed him shoot the large migratory bird with a shotgun, grab the bird and drag it behind him on the kayak.
When officers spoke with Walsh, they saw he had two dead trumpeter swans draped over his kayak. He admitted to shooting them, saying that he thought they were snow geese.
According to the DNR, trumpeter swans look similar to snow geese (a legal game species) but are four to five times bigger.
When the officers asked to see Walsh’s hunting license, he only produced one from 2016. He said he wasn’t able to get a 2018 license and stamps at Fleet Farm because his driver’s license was expired.