Thursday, February 19, 2009

Florida Felons Report: Killing Protected Birds

nother example of wanton destruction. I am going to follow this one very closely and help see that the book is thrown at them.

FWC arrests 7 suspected of shooting, killing protected birds

February 19, 2009
Contact: Gabriella B. Ferraro, 772-215-9459

"Simply by being in the right place at the right time Tuesday evening, officers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) were able to arrest a group of people suspected of shooting and killing protected birds.

Officer Dan Stermen was on routine patrol of Curcie Grade and County Road 92 in Collier County, when he heard gunfire coming from the direction of a bird rookery. As he got closer, he observed birds flying erratically and some falling from the sky. Stermen called for backup and waited near some cars that were parked on a peninsula leading to a lake. The area is marked "no trespassing."

Three men returned to their car in a boat. Officers saw firearms in the boat. Zachary J. Mato (DOB 8/16/86) and Cullen M. Shaughnessy (DOB 8/5/86), both of Marco Island, and Joseph W. Gursky (DOB 3/25/86) of Hillsdale, N.Y., were charged with felony trespass with a firearm and booked into Collier County Jail.

Four other people on the island were on foot and were ferried back to land. Keith G. Lisa (DOB 3/1/77) of North Bergen, N.J., Alexander B. Wilhelm (DOB 9/14/84) of Annapolis, Md., Mark L. McClure (DOB 12/15/85) of Osprey, Fla. and Stephanie M. Meads (DOB 7/11/85) of Naples, were charged with misdemeanor trespassing and booked into the jail.

Officers collected 21 dead birds at the scene. The birds had been shot. Some of the birds are classified as "species of special concern," which means they are protected under state law. Some of the protected birds found at the scene included white ibis and blue heron.

Some of the other birds found shot to death included tree swallows and cormorants. These birds are protected under the federal Migratory Bird Treaty act.

"In my 27 years as an officer, I've never seen people deliberately shoot and kill birds and just leave them for dead," said FWC Lt. Wayne Maahs. "This is truly a heinous act."

Additional charges are pending."

Best Regards,
Albert A Rasch
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles: Best Boar Hunting Calibers Part I


wandering owl said...

I tried to picture in my mind what these idiots were thinking. I started to feel stupid and gave up. I'm extremely happy that they got caught.

Native said...

Sounds to me,from the report, that these individuals were planning on selling feathers!

This type of "market hunting" became very heightened back during the 30s and 40s and in limited areas, extended well into the 50s through the 70s.

I believe that due to our poor economy we will,unfortunately, see more occurrences of this nature.
I am very glad that officer Dan Sterman happened to be in the right place and right time, to at least stop those people from doing any more damage than they did!

Albert A Rasch said...


You are a constant source of amazement to me. I would have never thought about that, even though I made a comment earlier today about plume hunters of the early 1900s.

Thanks Partner!