Duck case convictions ‘highlight success of collaboration’ between agencies

Published 2:32 pm Tuesday, July 25, 2023

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ALEXANDRIA, La. — Duck hunters Brandon Nettles and Colton Nettles of Woodville, appeared before a federal judge in the Western District Court of Louisiana Friday for their bench trial. They plead guilty to the count of taking or attempting to take migratory game birds more than the daily limit. 

United States Fish and Wildlife Service External Affairs spokesman Daniel Chapman issued a brief statement at the conclusion of the case. 

“The US Fish and Wildlife Service is committed to enforcement of the Migratory Bird Treaty act and the conservation of migratory birds,” Chapman said. “In this case, the convictions handed out highlight the success of collaboration with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.” 

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The plea deal for Brandon and Colton carries a punishment of fines and court costs amounting to $4,215 which must be paid in a year, 10 days prison time suspended, a year of unsupervised probation and hunting privileges in general nationwide are suspended. 

Count two for failing to maintain custody of ducks where taken was dismissed by the US Attorney in both Brandon and Colton’s cases. The Attorney’s Office stated the second count would not have increased the sentences. 

The Nettles were first cited by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries for alleged migratory bird violations on December 20, 2021, in LaSalle Parish. 

LDWF Agents cited them for taking over the daily limit of ducks, the daily limit of pintail, intentional concealment of wildlife and contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile. Louisiana’s daily limit of pintail ducks is one and the Nettles had allegedly harvested 12 pintails and 25 ducks in total, six ducks is the daily limit. 

Agents additionally found seven pintails which were concealed. The case was referred for federal prosecution by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service in January 2022.