Wildlife Officers Investigate Waterfowl Poachers for Gross Over-limits

Media Contact: Warden Mark Michilizzi, CDFW Enforcement, (916) 651-2084

As part of an ongoing investigation, California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) officers are seeking charges against several individuals for taking and possessing more than the number of white geese permitted by law.

On Jan. 16, CDFW Warden Nate Stebbins responded to an area approximately two miles east of Sutter, near Butte House Road and Humphrey Road following a complaint of several individuals shooting into large flocks of geese.

Sutter County sheriff’s deputies, first on scene, requested assistance from wildlife officers when they discovered the individuals had taken a large number of geese.

Wildlife officers investigating the incident determined that 15 individuals were responsible for shooting 116 snow geese, and crippling approximately 10 to 20 more that the shooters did not recover from the field.

Wildlife officers went to three different locations to account for the number of snow geese taken. One individual was found to be in possession of an additional 200 waterfowl comprised of ducks and geese that had been taken earlier in the season.

California regulations prohibit an individual from taking more than the daily bag limit of six white geese per day. Additionally, an individual may not possess more than double the daily bag limit of waterfowl at any time.

During the investigation, it was concluded that the shooters approached large groups of geese that were feeding and resting on the ground, then fired their shotguns into the group. While this method of hunting geese is not unlawful, when done carelessly can result in killing more geese than permitted by law and may cripple birds that will later die in the field.

Anyone providing additional information regarding this case or to report wildlife-related crimes may contact CalTIP at: 1-888-DFG-CALTIP (1-888-334-2258.)