- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 9, 2017

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - An eastern Montana rancher has pleaded guilty after his efforts to poison coyotes killed a bald eagle.

The Billings Gazette reports (https://bit.ly/2ftUrvf ) 66-year-old Dale Duwayne Buerkle of Plevna pleaded guilty Tuesday to the unlawful taking of a bald eagle during a hearing in U.S. District Court in Billings.

Prosecutors say Buerkle injected the pesticide carbofuran into calf carcasses to poison coyotes, however a bald eagle and a hawk also apparently ate from the carcasses and were poisoned in March and April of 2016. A state game warden also found three dead coyotes.

Court records say toxicology tests on all the carcasses were positive for carbofuran.

A plea agreement recommends a probationary sentence and that two charges, including unlawful use of a registered pesticide, be dismissed when Buerkle is sentenced on Nov. 16.

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Information from: The Billings Gazette, https://www.billingsgazette.com


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