SMITHVILLE, Mo. — Agents for the Missouri Department of Conservation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are offering up a reward for information that leads to the arrests of the people who shot two bald eagles.
On Jan. 17, Conservation Agent Vincent Crawford found a dead eagle with a gunshot wound near the Panther Creek low water crossing on Toledo Drive in Caldwell County. Crawford found the eagle after receiving a citizen tip.
In Clay County, a rider on horseback found a dead eagle on Feb. 18 on the Jack Rabbit Bend Trail at Smithville Lake. The location is near a power line cut east of Collins Road on the south side of the lake. An examination revealed that the eagle had been shot, but that it was in good health prior to the shooting.
Persons with information about the cases may call the Missouri Operation Game Thief (OGT) toll-free hotline, 800-392-1111. Persons calling the Missouri OGT hotline do not need to leave their name, they do not have to appear in court, and they may be eligible for a cash reward.
The unlawful shooting of a bald eagle is a state and federal offense, which violates the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The penalty under the Eagle Protection Act is a fine of up to $100,000 and not more than one year incarceration or both. The penalty under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act is a fine of up to $15,000 and not more than six months incarceration or both.