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Hyde County men plead guilty to waterfowl baiting charges

From the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of North Carolina

RALEIGH — Robert J. Higdon, Jr., United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, announces David Cahoon, 59, Johnathan Bull, 47, Johnathan Parker Williams, 52, and Timothy Cahoon, 49, of Hyde County, recently pleaded guilty to charges of aiding and abetting others to take migratory waterfowl with the use or aid of bait, and hunting migratory waterfowl over an area that was baited.

During the 2016-2017 waterfowl season, Federal Wildlife Officers observed, on several occasions, multiple people engaged in the baiting of the Cahoon impoundments. On December, 17, 2016, federal and state wildlife officers observed multiple hunters enter both baited impoundments and actively hunt migratory waterfowl.

Evidence suggested that David Cahoon, allowed a family member to hunt his waterfowl impoundment even after knowing the impoundment contained fresh shelled corn that was purposely placed to attract migratory waterfowl for the purpose of hunting. The impoundment is located adjacent to the Lake Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge. David Cahoon pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting others to hunt on or over a baited area and was ordered to pay a $9,000 fine.

Evidence suggested Timothy Cahoon hunted on opening morning within the baited impoundment. Timothy Cahoon pleaded guilty to hunting over a baited area and was ordered to pay a $2,500 fine and lost his hunting rights for one year.

In an adjacent impoundment Johnathan Bull and a group of hunters hunted migratory waterfowl while knowing the impoundment was baited with bird seed and sunflower seed purposely placed to attract migratory waterfowl into the impoundment. This impoundment is also located adjacent to the Lake Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge. Bull pleaded guilty to hunting over a baited area and aiding and abetting others to hunt over a baited area and was ordered to pay a $4,000 fine and lost his hunting rights for one year.

Parker Williams pleaded guilty for his involvement in aiding and abetting others to hunt over bait and was ordered to pay a $4,000 fine and lost his hunting rights for one year.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Division of Refuge Law Enforcement and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. Assistant United States Attorney Daniel Smith prosecuted the case for the government.