According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Alvin Sowinski, 65, and his son Paul, 46, both from the Town of Sugar Camp, are facing federal prosecution after poisoning more than 70 wild animals on their property.
They have agreed to pay $100,000 in restitution in connection with the animal deaths, which occurred between 2007 and 2010. Two bald eagles were killed, in addition to nine coyotes, a bobcat, three ermines, crows, songbirds, squirrels, skunks and other creatures. They also face penalties of up to $100,000 each and up to a year in prison. Their sentencing takes place in May.
The Sowinskis own more than 8,000 acres in Oneida County and are known for growing potatoes.
An investigation by the DNR was initiated after a warden found dead animals on the property in 2007. An undercover DNR officer was told by Alvin Sowinski how he poisoned animals to target predators. The Sowiniskis allowed hunters and trappers on their land to kill predators to improve hunting on their property.
They used carbofuran, a highly toxic insecticide to poison the animals, according to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service forensic lab. In 2010, law enforcement found at least nine poisoned bait piles of white-tail deer, beaver and processed meats on the property. Dozens of dead animals were found near these piles.
Law enforcement placed hidden video cameras on the property and caught Paul tossing a dead eagle into a burn pile after finding it near one of the poisoned bait piles.