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Two northeast SD men sentenced for shooting 200 pelicans, double-crested cormorants

WEBSTER, S.D. -- Two northeast South Dakota men will lose their hunting privileges for three years and pay restitution of $10,850 for shooting and killing more than 200 pelicans and double-crested cormorants in the spring of last year on small lake in Day County.

The two were convicted in federal court of taking, killing and possessing migratory birds.

Brant Nelson, 66 and Kirk Nelson,  63, were also sentenced to 36 months of probation.

Both species are migratory birds that are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and cannot be lawfully hunted or killed under any circumstances.  The Nelsons shot the birds from their property that borders a small lake in Day County.

The investigation was conducted by the South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks Department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.