The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says two trumpeter swans were accidentally killed in Tama County this weekend. D-N-R spokesman Kevin Baskins says the hunters thought they were shooting at something else. He says they were shooting at a flock of geese that was coming into where the hunters had set up their blind, and three trumpeter swans flying below the geese were hit. Two of the swans died, while a third was injured.

The two hunters, 21-year-old Ryan Fish and 15-year-old Blake Fish, brothers from Toledo, reported the incident. Their father is a hunting instructor in Tama County, but Baskins says the birds were in the sun and the two mistakenly shot at them. He says they obviously didn’t have a clear bead on the target. He says that can happen this time of year with the sun on the horizon. Baskins says those are shots you may want to pass up if you can’t see for sure what is out there.

Baskins says they haven’t decided yet if there’ll be any charges or fines against the two. He says normally they seek restitution in these type of cases, and he says that could be up to one-thousand dollars for each swan. Baskins credits the two with reporting the shooting and taking responsibility.

This is the second time in the last two months a trumpeter swan has been shot. Baskins says someone shot and killed a trumpeter in Jackson County near Big Mill Creek last month and they’re still looking for the culprit. Trumpeter swans were once common in Iowa, but disappeared from the state by the late 1800’s. The D-N-R began reintroducing them into the state in 1995.