WICHITA — A La Crosse man has been charged with shooting a golden eagle earlier this year in Trego County, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom announced.
Chad L. Irvin, 34, was indicted Thursday in the U.S. District Court in Wichita. He is charged with unlawfully killing a golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos). The crime is alleged to have occurred on Jan. 9.
Two eagles were shot in a two-day period last January. At the time, the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism reported that veterinarians X-rayed the birds and found metal in both eagles. “They appear to be two separate incidents, because they are in two separate ends of the state,” said Kenny Kessler, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, special agent, in a news release issued in January.
The birds were initially described as bald eagles. Both species are protected by the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. The killing of any eagle constitutes a violation of those acts.
If convicted on the misdemeanor count, Irvin faces a maximum penalty of one year in federal prison and a fine up to $100,000. Assistant U.S. Attorney Matt Treaster is prosecuting.
The eagle in question was found in a ditch near the Ness County-Trego County line on Jan. 9. A second eagle was found Jan. 10 near the Montgomery County-Wilson County line.