Hunters guilty of shooting swans

Three men killed birds in Sandusky County.
Tom Jackson
Oct 23, 2013


Three people were convicted Tuesday for the shooting and killing of two swans and the apparent wounding of a third in an Oct. 12 incident at Pickerel Creek Wildlife Area in Sandusky County.

A surviving swan under the care of Back to the Wild died hours before the court hearing.

Robert Hagstrom, 54, of the 300 block of Deerwood Road in Huron, and his son, Mitchell Hagstrom, 20, of the same address, pleaded no contest to a charge of shooting a trumpeter swan, a fourthdegree misdemeanor. They appeared in Sandusky County’s municipal court in Clyde, court officials said.

A third defendant, Charles Catri, 72, of the 800 block of Curran St. in Sandusky, pleaded no contest to shielding and harboring an offender in a wildlife violation, and providing false information on the killing of the trumpeter swans.

Catri told wildlife officers he knew nothing about the swan shootings, but officers later learned he was with the Hagstroms, said Gino Barna, Lake Erie law enforcement supervisor at the Ohio Division of Wildlife office in Sandusky.

The Hagstroms are scheduled for sentencing Nov. 7 in Judge John Kolesar’s courtroom. Catri was given a three-day suspended jail sentence and fined $283 in fines and costs. He must also serve 20 hours of community service and six months of inactive probation.

One swan died at the scene Oct. 12, while another that was likely shot was never recovered. A third swan was wounded. It was taken to Back to the Wild, the animal care organization in Castalia, but it died on Tuesday, Barna said.

Back to the Wild founder Mona Rutger said the swan died from unknown causes. The bird had a wing wound, but that wasn’t the cause of death, Rutger said. It may have suffered internal injuries when it fell from the sky after being shot and hit the ground, or it could have had an undetected additional pellet wound.

“She didn’t do well from the time she came in. She just progressively got weaker and weaker,” Rutger said.

The Division of Wildlife will decide whether to order a necropsy to determine the cause of death.

“We have to hold her in our freezer for evidence,” Rutger said.



Still would like to know what the reason was behind these guys shooting the swans. Anyone can tell there's a difference between these and ducks. And even if he was thinking they were Canada geese - which I guess if they were flying above him that might have been a possibility but I've never heard of a swan flying, don't even know if they do! - but it still doesn't matter I don't think it's geese season is it? I'm obviously not a hunter so I don't know! What I do know is there's a HUGE difference between all these animals and a blind person would be able to tell you that a swan isn't a duck and not to shoot it!


candleburner they do fly and they are not as graceful as a duck. From a distance you think they may be geese headed your way but as they get closer one should realize they are swans. They have 6 to 8 foot wingspans. Other than the opening day, hunters need to check in at the Pickeral station and they clealy go over the differences between a goose and a swan. Not an excuse even without the talk.

getit right be4...

Why not look some of this this information up for yourself. Google=Do Swans fly? Google= When is Ohio Duck and Geese Season?

Yes Goose Season was in on the 12th. If I had to take a guess I would say these hunters thought they where shooting at Snow Geese. It has happened many times before.

They will pay for there mistake and hopefully learn from it.


3,700 abortions done PER DAY.

Hard to imagine who the REAL criminals are!

nosey rosey

Certainly not the women who have every right to determine what to do with their own bodies.

mimi's word

Please keep to topic. You are a ridiculous person who brings abortion into EVERY article! Until ALL children who currently breath air on this earth are properly taken care of; fed, clothed, loved, not beaten and abused,please stop your ridiculous tirad.


HA HA HA, You calling someone ridiculous?
Your gull is unlimited. Its ok for YOU however to constantly bring up the idea that it should be swept under the table and never be mentioned. Oh, how pathetic you are.

And Nosy Rosey, its NOT their bodies thats inside them, its another s body, and if YOU MURDER that baby inside by driving recklessly YOU WILL be charged with MURDER.

Can't have it both ways you who have little minds and absolutely NO COMMON SENSE, its either murder or it isn't.

Colonel Angus

Why are you so angry? Did mommy make you "MURDER" the baby that daddy put in you?

mimi's word

If there is an article ever printed about abortion I will be more than happy to let you rattle on and on about YOUR OPINION!!!! Untill then please stick to the topic at hand and grab your soapbox for the corner!!!! And as far as me calling you ridiculous yes yes you are. And my gull (definition gull of gull is to fool or trick (someone)) makes no sense here. I am not tricking anyone. Nor am I pathetic. I ask for you to keep your comments to topic I do not see where I am tricking anyone or being pathetic.

Stop It


Señor Clown

Gull, as in swan, goose, duck, gull. Maybe it was a weak attempt to stay on topic?

Still disappointed that there wasn't a federal charge.

getit right be4...

That number seems low. I'm sure if we try we can double this number by this time next year.

Note to self. Make donation to abortion clinic.

Simple Enough II

Off topic, but since you brought it up in many cases we might call it " crime stoppers" or "crime prevention".


Are they sure the birds didn't accidentally commit suicide?

nosey rosey

What a tragedy, especially since Ohio laws stink and these idiots will only get a slap on the wrist.


Oh, swan killers are murderers to you Nosey but murdering babies is A-OK with you ! WOW, unbelievable. I can't imagine being a child under your roof, or even an adult for that matter, Whats next, accepting euthanasia on Grandma because she no long is productive for society? BUT HEAVEN FORBID IF AN ANIMAL DIES!

mimi's word

Keep to topic....

getit right be4...

Are you a moderator on this site? If so you are doing a terrible job.

mimi's word

Really? I think everything has a place and abortion does not have to be the topic of every single article because of several people.


@truth2you: You can blame me.


Nobody likes abortion, period. Its a hard choice , a right to choose is her right. The topic is the swans. Yes, we can be upset about the swans being shot.

Murdering babies is not o.k. No one thinks it is o.k. Abortion is legal ,it is a womens choice , a hard one, that she must make on her own. Shooting Swans seems to show the hunters weren't educated or couldn't tell the difference between Swans & geese. They weren't shooting human babies. Duh.

thinkagain's picture

Thousands of women brutally mutilated and dismembered their unborn children today, to a godless liberal, no big deal.

Three birds were killed in Sandusky County, it receives media attention and nosey rosey calls it a “tragedy”.

And so ends today's lesson in typical liberal hypocrisy.

Truth or Dare

Yep, and those who are well educated will make educated choices, taking preventative steps as to their personal choice regarding reproduction, when that will take place, let alone not at all for some.

As for the swans, I personally don't duck or goose hunt, but I certainly can tell the difference between swans, ducks and geese!


Swan-white, goose-black and gray. Pretty simple to remember that. It must have been pretty confusing out there that day... You have all these people with guns so you have to remember not to shoot them AND you have to try to remember what you are supposed to kill out there. I feel for these guys, it must be very difficult to be a hunter!