It seems like every couple months a hunting TV host finds themselves in trouble with Fish and Game Department. In some cases, like Lee Lakosky and the Pigman, it was just a simple mistake. But others, like the guys from Hunting in the Sticks, purposely broke the law to enrich themselves. This is one of those stories.
Bill Saiff of Cabin Country, an outdoor show on PBS, decided he needed to make sure his clients got birds, so instead of doing the right thing he took matters into his own hands.
According to Up State New York, William Saiff II plead guilty to two counts of violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act by guiding waterfowl hunts over baited ponds for profit on two separate occasions in October 2015.
The plea bargain, which included payment of a $5,000 fine, forfeiture of any hunting or guiding privileges (other than fishing) until Jan. 1, 2019. He also agreed to make charitable donations totaling $10,000 to non-profit wildlife organizations of his choice.
He is due back in court July 21 for sentencing in the Syracuse court before United States Magistrate Judge Therese Wiley Dancks. He could face a maximum prison sentence of up to one year and a fine of up to $100,000 per count.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office:
“On Oct. 27, 2015, he guided a hunting party over a baited pond in the Town of Cape Vincent, in Jefferson County. Saiff had previously installed an underwater trough at the pond to hold bait. As part of his guilty plea today 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 in Jefferson County. Saiff 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.”
Besides being a hunting guide Saiff also owns a fishing charter and the Westview Lodge in Henderson Harbor, which features a hotel, restaurant and full service bar. So if you are ever up in that neck of the woods and you want to book a charter or go out for a drink. I would choose another establishment.