Lake Arthur man loses hunting privileges

Published 5:08 pm Tuesday, September 21, 2021

LAKE ARTHUR — A Lake Arthur man is losing his hunting privileges for two years for violating federal migratory bird laws, federal prosecutors said.

Kevin Berken, 60, pleaded guilty to violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Acting U.S. Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook said Thursday in a press release.

Berken admitted to taking more than the daily bag limits of ducks.

He was sentenced to two years of probation, during which he is prohibited from hunting, fishing and trapping. He was also ordered to pay a $5,000 fine and complete 100 hours of community service.

Berken was charged in a bill of information with one count of violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act by taking more than the daily bag limit of ducks in any one calendar day.

According to evidence presented in court, Berken was an experienced waterfowl hunter, frequently hunted in Jeff Davis Parish and participated in duck hunts on Dec. 27, 2018. During the first hunt, Berken and other hunters jointly shot, killed and possessed 10 ducks  In a second hunt later that day, Berken and another hunter shot, killed and possessed 12 more ducks.

Agents with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service encountered Berken and three other hunters that day and found them to be in possession of 29 various species of duck. This was a violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act  because it exceeded the daily bag limit of six ducks per hunter in one calendar year.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Louisiana Department of Fish and Wildlife Service conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Danny Siefker prosecuted the case.