Oklahoma gamecock owners accused of killing protected birds

Tuesday, November 4th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Edmond-AP) -- The US Fish and Wildlife Service is charging 31 Oklahomans with illegally trapping and killing federally protected birds.

The wildlife service says each of the 31 raise gamecocks and are accused of killing hawks and owls they believe are threats to gamecocks.

Wildlife service agents arrested the 31 in 15 different Oklahoma counties, including Rogers, Sequoyah, McIntosh, Choctaw, Atoka, LeFlore, Creek, Pontotoc, Seminole, Coal, Lincoln, Pottawatomie, Murray, Grady and Jackson.

Agents say "pole traps" were used at gamecock facilities to catch and kill the birds.

Pole traps are steel-jawed traps mounted on top of a pole and trap the birds when they perch on the trap.