Community Members Upset Over Killed Swan

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SMITHFIELD TOWNSHIP -- On the typically quiet waters of Lake Valhalla near East Stroudsburg, there's a hunting issue that's making some noise after a local hunter shot and killed a male swan that had been living there with his mate for several years.

The incident happened last Thursday.

"It's sad. It was a member of this community. It's like someone coming into my yard and shooting a dog," said Veronica Pistilli, Smithfield Township.

People who live in the community tell Newswatch 16, the bird was shot from the middle of the lake on a peninsula.

The hunter, Jason Cobb from East Stroudsburg, took his shot while the swan was flying over the lake.

Residents are upset because they have "No Hunting" signs posted on trees and it's against the community's bylaws to hunt without special permission in this area.

"This is not an ethical hunt. He stalked this bird in an area where these birds stay all the time. These birds are always here. They don't leave," said Susan Jorstad, East Stroudsburg.

According to the Pennsylvania Game Commission, it's not against the law to hunt mute swan.

State police say this hunt was legal.

Still, residents think more should be done.

Over the last few days, a memorial has been set up to remember the male swan and some community members we spoke to say this is a big loss to their community.

Veronica Pistilli has lived in this area for many years. She drives past the lake every day.

"They have been here 20 years. I have been taking pictures of them and their families for 20 years every day that I come in here," said Pistilli.

In addition to adding beauty to the lake, community members also say the swans solved a problem they were having with other birds in the area.

"They keep away the geese and the geese have been a problem for the airport. So not only are they beautiful, but they have helped to keep things pleasing and safer for the airport," said Jorstad.

Newswatch 16 contacted the hunter, Jason Cobb, and he responded:

"I am terribly sorry for my actions. I did not mean to upset the people of Lake Valhalla. I was given permission to hunt on the land. It was all perfectly legal. But I am sorry for upsetting the community."

The game commission says there will be no charges against Jason Cobb.


  • Writer Girl

    Ok, I’m getting a little anxious again today. I’m sorry. I’m having a bad week. My hubby left me for one of my very close friends. I apologize Lloyd. Usually I’m not this much of a biotch, but today is not my day!

    WNEP, please tell whoever is using my name to post comments like the above, that what they’re doing is grounds for getting kicked off this board. I didn’t write the above post.

  • writer girl

    Ok, I’m getting a little anxious again today. I’m sorry. I’m having a bad week. My hubby left me for one of my very close friends. I apologize Lloyd. Usually I’m not this much of a biotch, but today is not my day!

  • Writer Girl

    Wow Lloyd Schucatelli! Such a sophisticated internet genius. Comparing hunting to animals that are breed for food and driving to the mistakes/greed of oil companies. Typical unrealistic judge of people, most of whom don’t think like that. And besides, you’re comparing apples to oranges.

  • Eve Elston

    He should have shot them both, I believe swans mate for life and she may die now without him, please cover this on pa. Outdoors , i will be glad to see I am wrong

  • Taste like SWAN!

    It’s quite obvious that the only ones blasting this guy on this post are the uneducated ones! Bullets? Lol that would be a nice shot if the swan was flying to hit it with a bullet! As a avid pilot , I must say I’ve never encountered a goose problem there in my 40 plus years flying! If you go over near montoursville the swans and geese live together! Nice shot is all I can say and I can’t believe wnep would waste resources following up on this guys successful bird hunt! The bird was also shot nowhere around the time any kiddies were boarding the bus ! Sorry but that cry is invalid! Get a life and donate your keyboard typing hate time to a soup kitchen!

    • Robert Curtis

      another trailer trash “just gotta kill something” redneck heard from. would love to see how quickly all that testosterone drains down your leg if you ever had to “hunt” something that shot back.

      • Robert Curtis

        Mo Boy: Fake internet tough guys like you would never dream of riding through “Philly”. I can see you now, driving through N. Philadelphia in your pick up with your fat fingers wrapped around your glock, trembling and sweating out all that sausage gravy from breakfast, hoping to god you don’t get stuck at a redlight around all the scary brown people. Go polish up that deer rifle tubby, you’ll be able to kill something again real soon.

      • Lloyd Schmucatelli

        Wow Robert Curtis, such a sophisticated internet genius. Protesting hunting while eating drive thru burgers where’s someone else did your killing for you. Probably protesting
        big oil companies while driving your car down highways too, right? Typical lib-tard. Do as i say, not as i do.

      • Robert Curtis

        There are no real hunters posting here. Just disrespectful gun toting idiots. Driving your 4 wheeler to your deer stand, throwing out some corn and waiting for some unsuspecting animal to wander by isn’t hunting. Just like hiding in the weeds waiting for a tame swan to fly over you isn’t hunting. It’s killing a harmless animal so you can puff your chest out and brag to all your facebook friends. Also, I work for a big oil company.

  • Appalled at the Non-hunter

    He’s saying he’s sorry….here, on the news. The problem is…when you want hate and negativity against you to stop, you don’t post legitimate threats on your FB page to shoot another basically “tamed” swan in front of children the next time, MORE than once, with NO repentance, nor goad people by posting more photos of more swans you’ve “hunted”, posting about wondering if he’s made it to “viral” yet…. He has tried to present himself as reasonable and asking for forgiveness on the news and radio, yet showing the true self on his now closed FB page (because his true self backfired on him). I’m sorry, but he’s asking for more than he deserves as it appears he is only sounding repentant for “show” because of the backlash from our community against him, and against his business, but he’s shown he’s not truly meaning it.

  • Nicole

    This is my community. I am disgusted and so sad about the swan. I am also more than a little freaked out and ticked off that he thought it was okay to shoot a gun so close to our bus stop and mailboxes! That little “island” isn’t too far from where our kids get on and off the bus when you’re talking bullets flying through the air. All around disgusting.

    • Writer Girl

      I don’t live in Lake Vahalla and I’m even disgusted. I hope the community members don’t let this fall by the wayside. No one should ever have to fear getting killed, while sitting outside, getting on or off a bus or anything else.

  • pat

    Boy that’s sporting shooting a swan in a lake. What a sportsman. Why don’t you try shooting sporting clays? I’m sure you’ll be a failure at that too.

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