GREENEVILLE, Tenn. — Four East Tennessee duck hunters have been sentenced in federal court after TWRA said they illegally baited a pond with corn.
TWRA investigators charged Dustin R. Carter, 25, of Mosheim, Brent J. Ottinger, 29, of Blacksburg, Virginia, John Cody Shipley, 23, of Greeneville and George Jerriott Weems, 24, of Greeneville with several illegal duck hunting charges each.
Through a plea agreement, each man pleaded guilty last month to one count of taking migratory birds by aid of bait.
According to a Friday TWRA release, Carter and Shipley were each sentenced to one year of unsupervised probation, ordered to pay an $800 fine and lost their hunting privileges for one year.
Ottinger received six months of unsupervised probation, was ordered to pay a $400 fine and lost his hunting privileges for six months.
Weems was sentenced to 18 months unsupervised probation, a $1,500 fine and lost his hunting privileges for 18 months.
In early December of 2018, TWRA officers said they saw the four men kill eight ducks on a half-acre pond in Mosheim that had been baited with corn.
During questioning, each hunter gave written statements that they had prior knowledge that the pond had been baited. Three of the hunters also admitted to hunting the pond on an earlier date, harvesting 15 mallards and 2 wood ducks.
Waterfowl and other migratory birds are federally protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Federal and State regulations prohibit hunting waterfowl by the aid of baiting.
Baiting is the direct or indirect placing of salt, grain, or other feed that could lure or attract waterfowl to, on, or over any areas where hunters are attempting to take them.