Pro Golfer, Tripp Isenhour, may not be in trouble after all.
Earlier this week, the four-time nationwide champ became angry and started hitting golf balls at a hawk that was several hundred yards away. After a few shots, he gave up, but then the hawk came back for more.
Isenhour hit six more balls at the hawk, now 75 feet away, almost hitting it with the sixth, before firing one final shot that smoked the hawk right to the ground. The bird, protected as a migratory bird, bled from the nostrils and then died.
The golfer, who supposedly said "I'll get him now," when the bird got closer, was apologetic at first, but now admits that he thinks what he did was funny. "I was laughing the whole time," he said. "I'm proud of myself for being able to hit a large majestic bird. The thud of the ball hitting him and the way he fell were hilarious. And the blood out the nose, that made it all worth it."
Killing a migratory bird has a maximum penalty of 14 months in prison and a $1500 fine.
But Isenhour isn't likely to get punished. Most Americans seem to agree that this event was humorous.
"This isn't really animal cruelty. This is a display of athleticism, and it just shows a good sense of humor," a sports analyst on ESPN said.
While some animal lovers do want Isenhour punished, a poll of Americans conducted on the ESPN website suggests that most were okay with this event. 75% of Americans said they thought Isenhour's actions were funny, 62% of people said the hawk asked for it, and 80% said he should not be punished at all.
"The way he said 'I'll get him now', acting like the bird was a person, was just funny," the sports analyst said. "After all, it's just a bird, and it was a private golf course. The bird had no busniess being there. And it's not like he electrocuted dogs or anything."