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Township man facing charges for poaching four deer

February 05, 2014 - An area man is facing thousands of dollars in restitution and jail time for allegedly poaching four deer.

Last fall Michigan Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer Ben Shively responded to a poaching complaint in Rose Township during a winter storm regarding a local man who had allegedly shot two fawns that were still alive. When Shively arrived, the complainant, who stated he heard two shots and saw the deer still alive just off his township property. The property owner stated that the alleged poacher approached the deer and took off when he started to yell at him.

Shively dispatched the doe and yearling then searched the area for the hunter's footprints. After 15 minutes of searching, Shively located two additional does that had been shot and made contact with the hunter who was returning to the deer. When asked why he had left the scene, the hunter explained that his family had had issues with the complainant and he was trying to avoid a confrontation. Shively asked if he had shot all four deer. The hunter stated that he had only shot three times and had only shot three deer. When Shively showed the hunter the four deer, he determined that the yearling was standing behind the third doe when he shot. The hunter stated he had seven or eight deer licenses. Shively asked to see the licenses to cover the four deer and looked through the hunter's combination licenses finding no private land doe permits for Oakland County. The hunter was ticketed for taking an antlerless deer without a license and all four deer were seized and donated to Sportsmen Against Hunger.

Michigan Conservation Officer Lt. David Malloch, Southfield operations service center, said the case is still pending.

"What makes this case so unique is the number of deer the suspect shot," he said. "We do find large poaching rings—20 or 30 animals— but it's pretty rare, the average is one deer. This does not happen every day."

The suspect is facing a $500 fine and/or 90 days in jail, loss of hunting privileges for three years and $4,000 restitution—$1,000 for each deer. The case is still open.

"We have very limited staffing to patrol a large section of southeast Michigan," he said. "We rely on people to call RAP when they realize something is wrong. That's four deer that an honest citizen will never have now."

The RAP (Report All Poaching) hotline, 1-800-292-7800, is a service for the public to report wrongdoings to the Department of Natural Resources.

You may qualify for a reward if you furnish information that leads to the arrest and conviction of a person or persons taking, attempting to take, possessing or commercializing in wildlife resources contrary to Michigan or federal law.

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