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Michigan man faces misdemeanor poaching charges

A man from Owosso Township, Michigan, allegedly poached deer and turkey, and now he faces 125 misdemeanor charges. Officials from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources claim to have found more than 100 animal parts, including those from turkeys and deer, on his property. The 51-year-old man was charged with one count of taking a deer without a license, two counts of illegal baiting, 115 counts of taking or possessing a deer over the legal limit and seven counts taking a turkey without a permit.

The 51-year-old was arraigned in Shiawassee District Court. An official with the Department of Natural Resources said this case was among the largest the department has seen for poaching recently.

By checking a list of licenses granted in the state, combined with no hunting records on record for the man before 1982, department officials concluded that the man illegally owns at least 100 deer parts.

Following a tip that came from the Shiawassee County Sheriff's Department, a conservation officer from the Department of Natural Resources, armed with a search warrant, went to the man's home to determine if he had any illegally gained animals. The officer reported finding more than 170 antlers and illegal bait piles during a visit to the home in early October. Additionally, the officer claims to have found turkey beards, crossbows and shoulder mounts.

If convicted of the multiple misdemeanor charges, the man could be forced to spend as many as 90 days in jail. He may also be forced to repay the state more than $120,000. He also could lose his hunting privileges.

The man will have a chance to provide evidence in court that he legally acquired all of the animal parts and other goods found by the state agency. Others in situations like this would be wise to consult with an experienced attorney in order to mitigate any potential penalties.

Source: MLive.com, "Owosso Township man faces 125 poaching-related charges," Gary Ridley, Oct. 19, 2012

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