When it comes to golf, we’ve heard of birdies and eagles, but we never hear about hawks when we’re out on the greens. Apparently there is a good reason for that; Tripp Isenhour kills them when they are too loud.
IIsenhour, who plays on the developmental Nationwide Tour, was charged Wednesday with cruelty to animals and killing a migratory bird, misdemeanors that carry a maximum penalty of 14 months in jail and $1,500 in fines.
Isenhour quickly apologized Thursday.
“As soon as this happened, I was mortified and extremely upset and continue to be upset,” Isenhour said in a statement issued through his management company, SFX Golf. “I want to let everyone know there was neither any malice nor deliberate intent whatsoever to hit or harm the hawk. I was trying to simply scare it into flying away.”
The 39-year-old player, whose real name is John Henry Isenhour III, became angry while filming “Shoot Like A Pro” on Dec. 12 at the Grand Cypress Golf Club when a squawking red-shouldered hawk roughly 300 yards away forced another take.
He drove closer to the bird in his golf cart and starting hitting balls at it. The bird didn’t move and Isenhour gave up and drove away.
Isenhour started again when the hawk moved within about 75 yards, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officer Brian Baine indicated in a report.
Isenhour allegedly said, “I’ll get him now,” and aimed for the hawk.
“About the sixth ball came very near the bird’s head, and (Isenhour) was very excited that it was so close,” Baine wrote.
A few shots later, witnesses said he hit the hawk. The bird, protected as a migratory species, fell to the ground bleeding from both nostrils.
And you know what is coming next, right? PETA is gonna want a piece of his ass for lunch. But before everyone gets all worked up, let’s just make it perfectly clear that Isenhour is, in fact, an animal lover and he has three cats at his house that he adopted from a local animal shelter. So, take that PETA.
[Golf.com]: Golfer apologizes for shot that killed protected hawk