Hunters sentenced after pleading guilty to exceeding dove limits, killing owls

Seven Kansas hunters pleaded guilty Wednesday and were sentenced for violating the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

The men all participated in an opening weekend dove hunt in Graham County on Sept. 1-2, 2013, according to a news release issued Wednesday by U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom.

The treaty classifies mourning doves as migratory game birds and owls as migratory non-game birds. Restrictions on hunting the doves include a daily bag limit of 15 and a possession limit of three times the daily bag limit.

▪ Daniel R. Dinkel, 63, of Hill City; Kenneth Beran, 67, Derby; Clark Law, 57, Hill City; and John Kobler, 62, Topeka; were charged with exceeding the daily bag limit for mourning doves.

▪ Kent A. Webber, 52, Derby; Evan Webber, 25, Derby; and Tracy Higgins, 57, Hill City; were charged with exceeding the daily limit and one count of taking an owl.

Another defendant, George Morgan, 52, of Gordonville, Texas, is charged with exceeding the daily bag limit and is set for a change of plea hearing on Monday.

Dinkel, Kobler, Law and Beran were sentenced to a year of probation during which they are not allowed to hunt, fish or trap. Each faces a $2,000 fine and must pay $3,000 restitution to the state of Kansas.

Kent Webber, Evan Webber and Higgins were sentenced to two years of probation in which they are not allowed to hunt, fish or trap, and each faces a $2,000 fine and $5,000 in restitution.

Reach Beccy Tanner at 316-268-6336 or btanner@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @beccytanner.