Dover Man Sentenced for Killing Bald Eagle

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FILE PHOTO: American flag waves outside the U.S. Department of Justice Building in Washington

YOUNGSTOWN –A Dover, Ohio, man was sentenced today by U.S. Magistrate Judge Carmen E. Henderson to one year of probation and was ordered to pay a $4,000 fine and $1,500 in restitution to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service after he pleaded guilty to shooting and killing a bald eagle.

“The prosecution of crimes committed against our district’s wildlife and natural resources, including the national bird of the United States, are important duties of the U. S. Attorney’s Office,” said First Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle M. Baeppler.  “Individuals who senselessly kill bald eagles and other federally protected migratory birds can expect to be punished similarly.”

“There is no excuse for knowingly shooting and killing a bald eagle,” said Special Agent in Charge John Brooks of the Office of Law Enforcement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “Working with our state partners in Ohio, our agents investigated this senseless killing.  Thanks to their work, the defendant has lost his hunting rights and will now pay substantial fines.”

According to court documents, David B. Huff, 79, routinely conducted inspections of farmland and several fields that he owned in Tuscarawas County for the presence of pests and rodents.  On October 7, 2021, during one of these inspections, Huff shot and killed a bald eagle with a scoped rifle at a distance of approximately 100 feet. 

After shooting the eagle, Huff picked up the animal and discarded it in the tree line of a bordering field. 

On June 21, 2022, Huff pleaded guilty to a violation of the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.  The Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act of 1940 prohibits anyone, without a permit, from, among other actions, shooting bald or golden eagles.  

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As part of his sentence, Huff is banned from hunting for a five-year period and the rifle and ammunition seized during the investigation by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service will be destroyed. 

This case was investigated by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service with assistance provided by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife.  This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brad J. Beeson.