Man Involved in Alleged Goose Poaching Shoots Witness, Court Docs Say

by Vern Evans

A potential goose poaching incident turned into a violent attack in Brookwood, Alabama on March 27 when a 42-year-old man and his son allegedly shot a Canada goose from a pickup truck with a rifle. The sound of the gunshot prompted two men who lived nearby to approach the poachers, and the confrontation ended with the father shooting one of the witnesses in the leg.

Now, Jacob Wayne Battle faces a felony assault charge. Victim Colby Lee Pinegar was transported to the hospital at the University of Alabama at Birmingham for treatment for non-life-threatening injuries. 

Court documents filed on Monday detail how Pinegar was inside his home with the other witness, whose identity has not been made public, when he heard the gunshot outside. He and the other witness went outside and watched someone running from the field toward the truck with a rifle, a deposition reads. A Canada goose laid dead in the field across the street from Pinegar’s house. 

Pinegar and the other witness approached the truck and got into a verbal argument with Battle. Pinegar stated that as he went behind the truck to get a license plate number, the driver pulled away. Battle then allegedly leaned out the window and fired multiple shots at the ground toward Pinegar, one of which struck him in the leg. 

Battle told investigators that he had instructed his son to shoot the goose. Then Pinegar and the other witness came over and confronted them. He said that one male came over to Battle’s window and the other walked behind the vehicle. Battle stated that he didn’t see any guns on either witness, but said he fired two to three “warning” shots at the ground near Pinegar because he “did not know what Pinegar was going to do.”

Read Next: Watch: World Champion Goose Caller Sent to Prison After This Video of Flock-Shooting Snow Geese from Truck

Canada geese, like all other migratory gamebirds, are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Poaching one is a crime at both the federal and state levels. According to Alabama’s 2023-2024 Waterfowl Hunting Guide, four separate statewide goose seasons occur between the start of September and the end of January. Taking a migratory gamebird with a rifle or from a vehicle are both illegal. 

Battle was arrested and charged with first-degree assault, a Class B felony in Alabama, and booked into Tuscaloosa County Jail. He later posted the $30,000 bond and was released, the Tuscaloosa Thread reports. First-degree assault carries a penalty of between two and 20 years in prison and a fine up to $30,000. The investigation is ongoing and the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources confirmed with Outdoor Life that no wildlife-related charges have been filed at this time.

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