Dead mule deer dumped in Eaton County; DNR officials remind hunters of importation laws, CWD implications

Last week, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources responded to calls of a male mule deer lying on the side of the road in a rural area of Eaton County. The antlers had been removed and the animal was field-dressed, though DNR staff determined, after close X-ray examination, the animal was killed by a vehicle. There were no bullet holes or lead fragments, but there were numerous broken ribs and other trauma indicative of a deer/vehicle collision. Since there are no registered mule deer in Michigan’s privately owned cervid facilities, it is believed that this carcass was brought into Michigan from somewhere out west. Read more

DNR offers reward in Houghton County wolf poaching case

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is offering a Report All Poaching (RAP) reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual who shot a gray wolf in Houghton County Saturday.

The shooting took place along M-26, one half-mile south of Twin Lakes.

DNR conservation officers said the shooter’s vehicle would have been parked along the west shoulder of M-26, heading southwest. The shooting took place sometime between the hours of 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. EST.

“The subject shot from the vehicle and struck the wolf as it was standing on the snowmobile trail (Trail No. 3) to the west of the highway,” said Sgt. Grant Emery of the DNR’s Baraga Field Office. Read more

DNR seeks information on deer killed in city of Norton Shores

Michigan Department of Natural Resources conservation officers are asking for the public’s help in obtaining information about 18 deer that were killed in the city of Norton Shores, Muskegon County, between October 2014 and September 2015.

The Norton Shores Police Department and the DNR have received the following reports:

  • A resident in the area of Treeline Drive found one dead deer Oct. 26, 2014, and two dead deer May 14, 2015.
  • On Aug. 31, 2015, a resident on Easthill Drive reported finding a dead deer in the yard, and a total of 11 dead deer since February 2014.
  • On Sept. 13, 2015, the Easthill Drive resident found two more dead deer.
  • A resident on Hilltop Drive also reported finding two dead deer since last year.

The deer were shot with a small-caliber rifle. Most of the deer were killed outside of the state’s deer hunting seasons.

Anyone with information about any of these incidents is encouraged to call the DNR’s Report All Poaching (RAP) Line at 1-800-292-7800. Information may be left anonymously. Tips also can be sent to the DNR via the online reporting form available on the DNR website

Boone and Crockett Club, Leupold Fund Research to Establish New Poaching Deterrents

MISSOULA, Mont. – Poaching, the illegal killing of game animals and other wildlife, is a serious problem and a crime. The targeting of trophy, big game animals is a growing concern. Protecting, conserving and regulating wildlife is becoming increasingly challenging, especially with the value of trophy animals on the rise and advancements in technology which give poachers an advantage over wildlife resources and enforcement actions. However, a new research program looks to examine the possibility of higher fines as a deterrent to poaching in an effort to curb wildlife crime and more severely punish those who steal valuable conservation resources. Read more

Court Affirms Sentence, Colorado Poacher Remains in Prison

DENVER- Convicted poacher and former outfitter Dennis Eugene Rodebaugh, 73, of Meeker, Colorado, learned on Tuesday that his appeal to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has failed, affirming the 41-month prison sentence and fines the former outfitter received in early 2013 for illegally baiting deer and elk with salt.

According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service investigators, between 2002 and 2007, Rodebaugh and an associate used large quantities of salt to attract elk and mule deer to an area in the White River National Forest where he had installed tree stands, enabling their clients to easily kill the animals.

In September 2012, a jury in Denver found Rodebaugh guilty of six felony violations of the Lacey Act, a federal law that prohibits the transportation of illegally taken wildlife across state lines, applicable because most of his clients came from out of state. Read more

Florida Father and Son Sentenced for Deer Trafficking

White-tailed deer. Photo by Tom Koerner/USFWS.

Donald W. Wainwright, Sr., 49, of Live Oak, Florida, was sentenced August 3, 2015 in U.S. District Court to 21 months in prison and a $125,000 fine for 12 charges related to violating the Lacey Act, one count of conspiracy and one count of wire fraud. His son, Donald W. Wainwright, Jr., 29, of Live Oak, Fla., was sentenced to four months of house arrest and three years of probation for eight charges related to violating the Lacey Act.

Carter Stewart, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Gregory Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, United States Fish and Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement, Chief Scott Zody, Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife, Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and Georgia Department of Natural Resources announced the sentences handed down by U.S. District Chief Judge Edmund A. Sargus, Jr. Read more

Safari Club International Suspends Membership of Hunter, Professional Hunter Involved in Death of Cecil

Washington, D.C. – Safari Club International (SCI) supports a full and thorough investigation of the circumstances surrounding the death of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe. SCI has imposed immediate emergency membership suspensions of both the involved hunter and his guide/professional hunter, and they will remain in place pending the outcome of an investigation.

Safari Club International condemns unlawful and unethical hunting practices. SCI supports only legal hunting practices and those who comply with all applicable hunting rules and regulations, and SCI believes that those who intentionally take wildlife illegally should be prosecuted and punished to the maximum extent allowed by law.

China Destroys More Ivory in Symbolic Gesture

African Wildlife Foundation lauds Chinese government’s increasing steps to stem illegal ivory trade, including indications to phase out domestic trade

BEIJING—Following on the heels of an initiative announced yesterday by the Beijing Capital International Airport Customs Office to inform Chinese air travelers to never buy ivory abroad and bring it home, the Chinese government today symbolically destroyed 662 kgs of ivory outside of Beijing. It further indicated it may eventually phase out its domestic ivory trade. With China being the world’s largest ivory-consuming nation and with 25,000 to 35,000 elephants killed in Africa each year to supply the illicit ivory trade, African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) applauds the Chinese government for taking steps to ensure its citizens do not contribute to the illegal trade. Read more

Forensic training for conservation officers paying dividends

At 9 a.m. Nov. 18, conservation officer Richard Cardenas received a complaint that had been phoned in to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ Report All Poaching Line about a deer that had been shot.

The caller said she was awakened by a loud thud against her house at approximately 3 a.m. When she went outside to investigate, she discovered a deer lying near her house between a woodshed and the back porch. She then witnessed her neighbor come into her yard, claim the deer and drag it by the antlers to his property.

COs being taught about animal body temperature to determine time of deathAfter speaking to the witness, Cardenas went to the suspect’s residence next door, where he contacted the suspect and observed a bait pile in the backyard, with spotlights from the house pointed toward it.

Cardenas questioned the suspect about the deer in the back of his pickup truck, including about what time of day he shot the deer. The suspect first told Cardenas that he shot the deer at 6 a.m. After further questioning, the suspect changed his answer to say he didn’t know what the time was when he shot the deer. Read more

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