Two western Kansas men have been charged with killing a golden eagle that was found dead on a Wallace County ranch in December.
As The Wichita Eagle reports, federal prosecutors charged Michael Dusin of Phillipsburg and Elijah Kuhlman of Sharon Springs with violating the federal Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, which bars anyone without a permit from pursuing, shooting at, poisoning, wounding, killing, capturing, trapping, collecting molesting or disturbing the protected birds or their parts, nests or eggs.
The men, both 22, face up to a year in federal prison and a maximum fine of $100,000 if convicted.
According to court documents, the men were driving and hunting in western Kansas when they saw what they describe as a large, black bird flying across a field on Dec. 11. Dusin shot it with a shotgun and Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Natural Resource Officer Mike Hopper found the dead eagle. An X-ray found 41 metal pellets in the bird.