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      Illinois authorities investigate killing of ducks

      Illinois Conservation Police is investigating the illegal killing last week of more than 30 ducks at the Carlyle Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area near Vandalia. (Actual ducks not pictured.)

      Illinois Conservation Police is investigating the illegal killing last week of more than 30 ducks at the Carlyle Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area near Vandalia.

      The ducks killed includes several northern pintails and mallards. Several ducks were left crippled. Duck hunting season closed Jan. 7 in the South Central Zone which includes Carlyle Lake.

      Aerial surveys conducted in May indicated pintails numbered 3.3 million on the breeding grounds in the north-central United States and Canada. Waterfowl biologists and habitat managers have worked hard to keep pintail numbers at levels high enough to sustain harvest.

      Spring duck hunting was eliminated a century ago by the McLean-Weeks Act, which regulated the shooting of migratory birds in the United states. The act was replaced in 1918 by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.