Authorities say two men have been cited for poaching trumpeter swans near the Platte River in south-central Nebraska.
The incident occurred Saturday morning.
One of the hunters told a Nebraska Game and Parks conservation officer that he thought he was shooting at a snow goose.
Jerry Pecha is a conservation officer supervisor for the Game and Parks office in Kearney.
He doubted the hunter's explanation, saying the differences between the two species are obvious.
Pecha says trumpeter swans are state and federally protected.
The men could face damages of $750 per swan and a $100 fine.
Their names have not been released.