Detroit Lakes, Minn. — Chris Vinton, the conservation officer who patrols the Detroit Lakes area, wants to know who killed two trumpeter swans this past Sunday.
Vinton has his suspicions as to what type of person killed them – a frustrated deer hunter? – but he needs more information.
“I’ve had duck hunters shoot swans in the fog, thinking they were geese,” Vinton said. “But they just shot these swans because they had nothing better to do, I guess. That’s the kind of needless killing that makes people sick.”
The shooting occurred Sunday afternoon, Nov. 17, likely from the road between Rice and Rock lakes, which are just outside the Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge north of Detroit Lakes.
Vinton received a call from a person who lives on Rice Lake who reported hearing four or five shots from a high-powered rifle, and then another shot or two.
By the time Vinton arrived, there were two dead swans atop the ice, which he figures was maybe an inch thick.
“I think whoever it was just took an opportunity to take something out,” he said.
Shooting the swans wouldn’t have been a difficult task, as they often float in the open water between the two lakes.
“There’s typically anywhere from a dozen to two dozen swans out there in that open water,” Vinton said.
Vinton asks anyone with information on the swan shooting to call the Turn In Poachers hotline at (800) 652-9093. Any information that leads to an arrest is eligible for a cash reward. All information will remain confidential.