DNR conservation officers report first case involving enhanced deer violation penalties

LAPEER COUNTY – Deer hunters are encouraged to report all poaching and harassment to the state’s Report All Poaching (RAP) Line – 1-800-292-7800. Hunters in Michigan are allowed to hunt free from harassment and poachers are being assessed stiffer fines after laws were updated this year. Just this past week, a group of hunters in Lapeer Twp. reported being harassed while hunting near Gravel Creek Rd.

“We encourage anyone who feels there has been a trespass or harassment incident to report it to our Report All Poaching – RAP Line: 1-800-292-7800,” said Lt. David Malloch, Supervisor of Conservation District 9, which encompasses all of southeastern lower Michigan.

“We have limited staffing, but the more eyes and ears we have out there to catch poachers the better. If people run into trespassers, we caution not to confront. Use their best judgment, but if it escalates, back off and gather information for us such as license numbers, descriptions of the trespassers and their vehicles, the time of day, and location. The more information we have, the easier it makes our investigations.”

The state has also handed down its first sentencing for poaching after a Kent County man pled guilty in a deer-poaching case that occurred in September in Montcalm County and is the first case of a violation meeting the new enhanced sentencing guidelines for poaching that became law in Michigan earlier this year.

On Sept. 21, Michigan Department of Natural Resources conservation officers responded to a complaint phoned in to the RAP Line involving an adult suspect who allegedly killed two trophy white-tailed deer in Montcalm County during the 2014 Youth Hunt while acting as a mentor to an 8-yearold hunter. Jacob Powers, 25, of Lowell, Michigan, was arraigned Oct. 3 on the charge of taking two white-tailed deer during the closed season before a magistrate of the 64B District Court at Stanton in Montcalm County.

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