Hunting Guide Pleads Guilty In Deaths Of Protected BirdsPosted: Updated:
A well-known north country hunting guide faces fines and other penalties for the killing of protected birds.
William “Bill” Saiff III pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court in Syracuse to two counts of violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
He guided waterfowl hunts over baited ponds for profit on two separate occasions in October 2015.
The 53 year old Henderson man is a professional hunting guide whose website advertises that for 18 years he “hosted the popular hunting and shooting sports program 'Cabin Country' as seen on Public Television Stations across the country.”
Saiff is also the owner and operator of Bill Saiff Outdoors and Seaway Waterfowl Professionals.
In a written plea agreement, Saiff admitted that on October 27, 2015, he guided a hunting party over a baited pond in the town of Cape Vincent. Saiff had previously installed an underwater trough at the pond to hold bait.
As part of his guilty plea, Saiff admitted that prior to the hunt, he stocked the trough with corn to attract waterfowl to the pond.
Investigators found the hidden trough stocked with corn one day prior to the hunt.
Before they were approached by investigators who stopped the hunt, Saiff’s hunting party shot and killed several protected waterfowl.
Saiff also admitted that on October 31, 2015, he guided a hunting party over a baited pond in the town of Rodman.
He acknowledged that he placed approximately 50 pounds of corn along the shoreline of the pond less than ten days prior to that hunt.
Saiff’s hunting party killed several protected birds, including geese and ducks, before a law enforcement officer intervened and seized the dead waterfowl.
Under the plea deal, Saiff will be ordered to pay a $5,000 fine.
He will also be prohibited from any hunting or guiding activities (other than fishing) until January 1, 2019.
Saiff also agreed to make charitable donations totaling $10,000 to non-profit wildlife organizations of his choice.
He could have faced a maximum prison sentence of up to one year and a fine of up to $100,000 per count.
No sentencing date has been set.