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Choteau man says he killed eagle to protect bunnies - KRTV News in Great Falls, Montana

Choteau man says he killed eagle to protect bunnies

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GREAT FALLS -

A Choteau man is prepared to plead guilty to the unlawful taking of a bald eagle.

According to federal court documents filed in December, 60-year-old David Carlson shot a bald eagle in March of 2015 at his residence near Choteau.

Court documents say he became concerned about hawks and eagles killing his bunnies.

Carlson allegedly cut off the bald eagle's talons, giving them to a farm hand, before throwing the carcass into a field so it would be covered by manure spreading.

The eagle carcass was not found by officials, but the United States Fish & Wildlife Service identified talons given to the farm hand were a pair of tarsi and feet from a bald eagle.

When interviewed by USFWS officials, Carlson admitted to killing bald eagles, saying he would shoot them if they were messing with his animals. 

Carlson initially pleaded not guilty to the charge, but later filed a motion to enter a guilty plea.

He is set to formally change his plea to guilty at the Missouri River Courthouse in Great Falls this week.

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