Gregory Obendorf, 60, was convicted Monday on federal charges of conspiracy to bait migratory birds and placing bait for migratory birds, Idaho's U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson said Tuesday.
Jurors found that Obendorf directed the placement of corn for bait and conspired with others from November 2007 to January 2014 to bait his fields along the Boise River so that others could easily hunt and kill the ducks, according to a news release from Olson's office.
The seven-day trial included evidence that at the beginning of duck-hunting season each year, Obendorf instructed his combine operators to partially combine his corn field to intentionally discharge corn kernels to attract ducks, and also instructed employees to flood the field and knock down standing corn to make the ducks easier to see.
Several hunters testified at trial that they hunted the corn field at Obendorf's invitation and they were able to take their limits of ducks in under an hour.
Agents from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service investigated after they flew over the defendant’s property in November of 2013, and observed piles of corn near a duck blind. Obendorf was indicted by a grand jury this past November.
Obendorf's defense attorney said earlier this year that Obendorf never killed a waterfowl on the field he was accused of baiting, and that the case was troubling because the government was representing her client's farming practices as criminal behavior.
Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 2. The charges of placing bait and conspiring to bait migratory birds are each punishable by up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $100,0000.