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Macomb County man pleads no contest for shooting hawks when utility company refused to cut down tree

Arthur Anderson, 65, of Macomb Township pleaded no contest earlier this month in the Shelby Township District Court 41 A, after shooting three young Cooper’s hawks out of a tree earlier this year.

Anderson owes $4,500 ($1,500 per bird) in reimbursement to the state and $475 in fines and costs. He will be on probation for six months, and the shotgun he used to shoot the birds was confiscated.

“The Michigan Department of Natural Resources greatly appreciates the court system’s support in this case,” said Chief Dave Shaw, DNR Law Enforcement Division. “All birds of prey are protected at both the state and federal level and are an important and enjoyable part of Michigan’s natural environment.”

In June, Anderson hired a utility company to remove trees on his property. When the utility company refused to disturb the trees due to the birds’ habitat, Anderson retrieved a shotgun from his house and shot the nest at least five times; three dead hawks then fell to the ground.

Conservation Officer Brad Silorey received the anonymous tip that was reported to the DNR’s Report All Poaching Hotline (800-292-7800).

COs Sydney Griffor, Chris Knights and Sgt. Seth Rhodea met Silorey at Anderson’s Macomb Township home, where they interviewed him and collected evidence.

Anderson at first said he was shooting nuisance squirrels, but eventually confessed that he was angry the utility company wouldn’t remove the tree due to the nest. His firearm was seized at that time.

Michigan conservation officers are fully commissioned law enforcement officers who provide natural resources protection, ensure recreational safety and protect residents through general law enforcement and conducting lifesaving operations in the communities they serve. Learn more at Michigan.gov/ConservationOfficers.

Contact: Acting Lt. Jason Becker, 313-396-6890