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Utah man pleads guilty to killing golden and bald eagles

Mathew Schwartz

A Utah Man has been sentenced to 46 months in prison for killing 80 eagles and hawks, bald and golden eagles included.

56-year-old Michael Earl Yellow was sentenced on Wednesday after shooting the birds with a 22-caliber long rifle between Aug. 2014 and Aug. 2015. Of the 80 birds killed, at least 10 of them were golden eagles and bald eagles.

In 2007, the bald eagle was removed from the list of threatened and endangered species but is still protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. Both of those laws prohibit the selling, harming, and killing of eagles.

Yellow was first indicted back in 2018 but eventually pleaded guilty earlier this year. His charges included taking bald and golden eagles, dead or alive, and possessing them without a permit. Yellow was also charged with possession of a firearm by felon where he pleaded guilty. He was forced to give up his firearms and ammunition alongside four golden eagle carcasses that he had in his possession.

Yellow will serve his 46 month sentence and will also pay $100 for each of the felony offenses committed and $25 for each misdemeanor.

Jared Gereau is pursuing a Journalism major with an emphasis in Social Media at Utah State University. He is planning on using his experience to pursue a career with USU Athletics sometime after he graduates. In his free time, Jared enjoys watching movies, playing games and creating content for his YouTube channel.