Efforts to re-introduce trumpeter swans in Iowa have hit a few setbacks with wayward shots by Iowa hunters. Wildlife Biologist Ron Andrews oversees the swan program for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.Andrews says at least six of the birds have been shot this fall, and that’s not good because they have to be four to five years old to reproduce. Andrews says it’s disappointing, because it appears that most of the shootings weren’t an accident.When they first started the program they expected to have a few swans killed by accident, but he says many of these shootings seem to be pure vandalism. Andrews says there’s a small minority of hunters who’ve caused problems.He says overall, hunters have been big supporters of the program, so all hunters shouldn’t be given a black eye by the few who shoot swans. Andrews says the public can help by reporting any illegal shooting.Those hunters who’ve been caught shooting swans have been caught mostly by other hunters who see them and call in on their cell phones. Andrews encourages anyone who may see a hunter illegally shooting a swan to call the “Turn in Poachers” hotline at 800-532-2020.
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