- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 1, 2014

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Wisconsin wildlife officials are reminding waterfowl hunters to leave trumpeter swans and whooping cranes alone.

Department of Natural Resources officials say more trumpeter swans and whooping cranes are taking to the skies en route to their winter homes. Both species are protected in Wisconsin and hunters can’t legally kill them, but DNR officials say unintentional shootings are still a problem.

Agency officials say hunters need to be absolutely sure what kind of bird is in their sights. Hunters who kill a swan or crane can face thousands of dollars in fines and lose their hunting privileges. Anyone who kills a crane also could face up to nine months in jail.

A guide for identifying swans and cranes is available on the DNR’s website.

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