Travis Smola

Man could face fines and jail time for poaching bull elk.

Michigan’s elk population is fairly small, so being selected for a tag to hunt one is considered a once-in-a-lifetime event. This is why it is especially infuriating when someone poaches an elk in the Great Lakes State.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says as of yet unnamed 60-year-old Wayne County resident used a crossbow to illegally shoot the bull Saturday, Dec. 8, south of Vanderbilt in Otsego County.

It didn’t take long for the news of the crime to get out. Later that morning, a tip on the incident was reported to Otsego County dispatchers who then forwarded the information to the DNR.

“Without the public’s help, this case might not have been solved,” DNR Sgt. Mark DePew said in a email DNR press release.

Not long after, Michigan State Police and an Otsego County Sheriff’s deputy were able to locate the suspect. They were also successful in locating the carcass of the bull and the crossbow allegedly used in the crime.

The suspect, a resident of Taylor, Michigan, is being charged with a misdemeanor, which could result in a $2,000 fine and up to 180 days in jail. He could also lose his hunting privileges for the next 15 years. Michigan is also one of several states to include restitution penalties for poached animals. In the case of an antlered elk, the fine is more, up to $5,000 in mandatory penalties.

We’ll keep an eye on this story and bring you more on when the suspect is arraigned here at Wide Open Spaces.



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