Man Pleads Guilty In Vilas County Migratory Bird Scheme

Dec 30, 2019

Northern goshawk.
Credit National Audubon Society

A Wisconsin man could face a year in prison and a $100,000 fine for taking a bird in Vilas County, trading it across state lines, then trying to cover it up.

James Kitzman, 69, of Oak Creek pleaded guilty (Monday) in federal court in Madison.

He’s charged with illegally bartering a northern goshawk, a violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Lacey Act.

In 2017, Kitzman took the bird from a nest in Vilas County and traded it to Edward Taylor of Michigan for a Finnish goshawk.

The two then agreed to cover up the transaction.

Taylor pleaded guilty earlier this month.

He will be sentenced in February, while Kitzman is scheduled to be sentenced in March.