Solon Man Pleads Guilty to Illegal Trapping of Raptors
SOLON - A Solon man has had his hunting, fishing and trapping privileges revoked for the next six years after pleading guilty to multiple counts of trapping violations including trapping raptors.
Ronald Roy Hanus, 46, pled guilty to 14 counts including three counts of trapping and killing three red-tailed hawks, three counts of attempted take of raptors, three counts of trapping with exposed bait, four counts of failing to tag traps and one count of trapping furbearing animals without a fur harvester’s license.
After pleading guilty, Hanus was ordered to pay $150 in liquidated damages in addition to having his hunting, fishing and trapping privileges revoked.
During an eight month long investigation in Tama County, DNR Conservation Officer Brent Reese documented Hanus’s attempted illegal take and actual illegal killing of raptors. The method Hanus used in trapping raptors consisted of a set leg-hold trap stapled to the top of the fence post, which was designed to catch a perching raptor by the foot as it landed atop the post. Hanus illegally used the aid of bait, visible to soaring raptors, placed in close proximity to the trap to lure raptors to the trap. Reece was able to document numerous trapping violations committed by Hanus over the course of this investigation.
The eight month investigation culminated when Reece and Conservation Officer Ericka Billerbeck interviewed Hanus on December 18 and 19, 2011. During those interviews, Hanus admitted to illegally trapping and killing nine Red-tailed hawks over the course of the preceding two years on his parent’s property in Tama County. Hanus admitted to illegally using exposed bait visible to soaring raptors to lure raptors to his trap, failing to tag his traps with a metal tag containing his name and address and that during the 2011-12 fur-bearer trapping season, he trapped fur-bearing animals while not being in possession of a fur-harvester’s license.