Crime

Duette man convicted of illegal dove hunting

A 70-year-old Duette man has been found guilty of illegally baiting his property in order to hunt migratory doves, according to the U.S. attorney's office in Tampa.

Harris David Spicer faces up to 1 year in prison and a fine of up to $100,000 after a federal magistrate found guilty of violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. He had been indicted in October 2011.

"According to evidence presented at trial, sometime in September or early October 2009, Spicer placed sorghum (otherwise known as milo) seeds around the area of a horse track on his property in Duette," a news release states. "Sorghum/milo seeds are traditionally used as a lure or attractant for certain types of birds. On Oct. 4, 2009, the first day of the official dove season, Spicer hosted approximately two dozen hunters for a dove shoot around the horse track.

"The trial evidence further revealed that Spicer had previously baited his property, in October 2003, for the purpose of a dove shoot. At that time, Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Officers advised him and his guests about the prohibitions against hunting dove over a baited field."

Spicer will be sentenced June 28.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

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