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Indiana Department of Natural Resources conservation police are investigating the illegal dumping of 91 dead snow geese in rural Porter County, southeast of Hebron.

Indiana is among several states that allow for liberal taking of snow geese, which have been found to have some negative effects on Arctic tundra, said Tyler Brock, spokesman for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources District 10 police.

"The issue is not necessarily that they took that many birds," Brock said. "It's what they did with them."

Conservation police have determined the geese were shot and illegally dumped sometime last week in the area of County Road 500 West and 1000 South, south of Ind. 8.

Dumping dead geese into water is a violation, and those responsible could face a Class B misdemeanor for littering the water, Brock said.

Conservation police have been talking with local residents, who reported seeing a group of hunters taking snow geese a few miles north, he said. Police are trying to determine who those hunters were.

Neighbors also told conservation police a group of snow geese had been regularly seen in the area.

Snow geese a a different species than Canada geese. Snow geese populations in Northwest Indiana aren't as widespread as Canada geese, but they do show up in large numbers in isolated pockets, Brock said.

Legal hunters likely would find the incident disturbing and detrimental to their positive image, police said.

Anyone with any information is asked to call police at 812-837-9536. To remain anonymous, call 800-TIP-IDNR.

Gallery: Recent arrests booked into Porter County Jail

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Public safety reporter

Sarah covers crime, federal courts and breaking news for The Times. She joined the paper in 2004 after graduating from Purdue University Calumet.