As cormorants fly up the Young's River, shots ring out and the dark form of a bird falls from the sky. A body of another floats past. Another has come to rest along the bank. This is not an unusual occurrence. Some take it as a source of pride that they help control the birds. In this case, a vigilante has taken it upon themselves to kill cormorants. It was common knowledge within the community who was shooting cormorants, but despite tips to law enforcement, and this being a federal crime, no charges were brought. They needed more evidence.
Increasingly, the shooting of cormorants is being sanctioned to control cormorant numbers. At the end of 2020, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service passed a rule making it easier to kill cormorants. Regions now have blanket permits, which allows management agencies from local, tribal and state levels to lethally manage the birds. In Canada, the government has implemented a three-month hunting season for Double-Crested Cormorants that allows hunters to take up to 15 birds a day.