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Dover man pleads guilty to killing bald eagle, will pay $20,000 fine

David B. Huff shot and killed a bald eagle with a rifle while checking his farm fields last October. He will also be prohibited from hunting for five years.

CLEVELAND — A Dover man pleaded guilty Tuesday to federal charges accusing him of violating the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Ohio, 79-year-old David B. Huff shot and killed a bald eagle with a rifle back on Oct. 7, 2021. Court documents state Huff owns farmland and several fields in Tuscarawas County and conducts regular inspections for pests and rodents. During one of these inspections, authorities say Huff killed the eagle.

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The Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act of 1940 prohibits anyone without a permit from shooting bald or golden eagles, the former of which were once virtually extinct in Ohio. After shooting the eagle, Huff apparently picked up the bird and discarded it in the a tree line of a bordering field.

As part of the terms of the plea, Huff has agreed to a $20,000 fine, with half found to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. He has also agreed to a five-year ban from hunting along with the destruction of the gun and ammunition confiscated during the investigation by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Official sentencing is set for Oct. 11, 2022.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Wildlife assisted the feds in the inquiry.

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