Plevna man sentence in bald eagle case

By Angel Wyrwas

A Plevna man was sentenced Nov. 16 in U.S. District Court in Billings.

Dale Buerkle, 66, had previously pleaded guilty in August to the unlawful taking of a bald eagle. Two other charges, including unlawful taking of a migratory bird, a hawk, and unlawful use of a registered pesticide, were dismissed at sentencing in accordance with a plea agreement.

Judge Timothy Cavan noted that Buerkle did not intentionally try to kill the bald eagle and had no prior criminal history. The bird was killed as a result of Buerkle injecting a pesticide into a calf carcass to facilitate the killing of coyotes that were killing his calves.

Buerkle was sentenced to one year of probation, a $1,000 fine and $1,000 in restitution to United States Fish and Wildlife Service.