November 25, 2014

Father and son sentenced in wildlife poisonings

PHOTO: Jackie Johnson

PHOTO: Jackie Johnson

An Oneida County father and son have been sentenced to one year of probation, after being found guilty of using a dangerous pesticide to kill wildlife – including two bald eagles – on property they used for hunting.

Alvin Sowinski, 78, and his 46-year-old son Paul were found guilty in May of using Carbofuran to kill wildlife on the family property. Alvin was sentenced to four months of home confinement followed by a year of probation. He also has to pay a $30,000 fine and $100,000 in restitution. His hunting, trapping, and fishing privileges have been revoked for 7 years. The younger Sowinski received a $10,000 fine, a five-year ban on his hunting, fishing and trapping privileges, $100,000 in restitution, and one year of probation.

The use of the chemical killed several species of birds and mammals between May 2007 and March 2010, including a black bear, bobcat and at least two American bald eagles. A DNR warden found a bald eagle, a crow, a gray squirrel, and a bobcat all dead and within one hundred yards of a deer carcass that the warden suspected contained poison.

Investigators also said the Sowinskis allowed hunters and trappers to kill predators, to make deer and grouse hunting better for their friends on an eight-thousand acre potato operation.