SMITHFIELD TOWNSHIP -- Hunter Jason Cobb likes to hunt water fowl. He typically hunts geese on land near Lake Valhalla near East Stroudsburg. But last week, the man from East Stroudsburg shot and killed a male mute swan from a peninsula as it was flying in the air.
Since then, he's been facing a lot of criticism for members of the Lake Valhalla community.
"Under federal game laws, any migrating bird, which a swan is, that flies over is fair game if it's in season," said Cobb.
According to the Pennsylvania Game Commission, the hunt was perfectly legal under state game laws, and no charges or citations will be filed.
Mute swans are legal to hunt. Their meat is edible, and they are considered an invasive species.
Cobb says he took every safety precaution during his hunt.
"We follow the law. Steel shot, plugs in the guns, no more than three shots in the gun at one time. The five shots I shot were from me reloading and firing two more shots as the swan circled and flew back around," said Cobb.
Each hunter is given a book when they go for their hunting licenses. It says right in the hunters digest that mute swans are not protected by federal law. The only two swans that are, are the trumpeter and tundra swans. You can differentiate them by their bill color.
"If you do shoot the wrong species, that's not a good thing and you can be cited for it. But like I said, I did the research. I know what they are. I know what they look like, and I took the shot after identifying it positively," said Cobb.
While hunting is something Cobb does regularly, he does apologize for upsetting the community.
"I'm sorry for upsetting people. I don't regret harvesting the swan. I just regret that it created so much backlash," said Cobb.
Again, no charges or citations will be filed.
Cobb says he will not harvest any more swans on Lake Valhalla and hopes to put the incident behind him.