By David Fleet
A tip on the Report All Poaching (RAP) Hotline proved costly for four area hunters.
Lt. David Malloch, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, law enforcement district supervisor for Southeastern Michigan, said four men were arrested after conservation officers witnessed the hunters shooting waterfowl over a baited township lake.
"We had received complaints about illegal hunting on this lake over the past few years," said Malloch. "The suspects used a spin-feeder mounted on the back of a boat to broadcast corn over the lake. There was corn on the bottom of the lake and on lily pads. It's illegal to bait for waterfowl the shoot them."
When conservation officers arrived ducks were flying onto the lake where the bait had been distributed.
Conservation officers Sgt. Arthur Green, Brandon Kieft and Ben Shively were able to witness the hunters shooting for a half hour after legal hunting hours had ended. The COs were able to contact the hunters who were in possession of four unplugged shotguns, four unsigned and unattached federal waterfowl stamps, lead shot, and eight illegally taken ducks. The hunters were also travelling in an unregistered watercraft without the proper number of personal flotation devices and had failed to retrieve at least two birds. Enforcement action was taken.
The four hunters were charged with nine tickets all misdemeanor violations subject to 90 days in jail and or $500 fine. In addition, each duck will cost the suspects a reimbursement of $100 per bird.
"The violators ended up paying just over $3,000 in fines," said Malloch. "Brandon and Groveland townships have some of the most violators in the state, due to the number of hunters and places to hunt. However, a case of this magnitude is not typical. It's pretty blatant to put a deer feeder on a boat." More....