Michigan Poachers Busted With 58 Illegal Ducks

Four men from the Coopersville area of southern Michigan are facing charges in connection with a duck-poaching incident on Sunday, Oct. 9. Conservation officers called the bust—which included 58 dead mallards and wood ducks—one of the largest instances of waterfowl poaching they’ve seen in more than 25 years. The four men, who haven’t been named, have court dates slated later this month.

In addition to being over the legal limit of six birds, the men were also hunting over bait, according to the Grand Haven Tribune. Officers found several hundred pounds of corn spread in and around a pond over which the four were hunting. "The limit is six birds," conservation officer David Rogers told the paper. "Up to four of those can be mallards. Up to three of them can be wood ducks. But every one [the men shot] is illegal because they were luring them in."

If the men are found guilty of poaching, the restitution for each bird is up to $500—for a total in the ballpark of $29,000, according to the Grand Haven Tribune. Also, officers confiscated guns from the men, who also face federally mandated suspension of their hunting licenses.

Officers discovered the poaching thanks to a call on Sunday morning to the state's Report All Poaching hotline. Conservation officer Ivan Perez told the Grand Haven Tribune that the caller believed there was an unusually large amount of shooting going on. Rogers and fellow officer Chris Simpson responded and walked to a wooded area near the pond. The officers apprehended the men and confiscated 35 wood ducks and 23 mallards. "I don't think these guys realize the magnitude of what they've done," Rogers said.

If the men are found guilty of poaching, the restitution for each bird is up to $500—for a total in the ballpark of $29,000, according to the Grand Haven Tribune. Also, officers confiscated guns from the men, who also face federally mandated suspension of their hunting licenses.

Officers discovered the poaching thanks to a call on Sunday morning to the state's Report All Poaching hotline. Conservation officer Ivan Perez told the Grand Haven Tribune that the caller believed there was an unusually large amount of shooting going on. Rogers and fellow officer Chris Simpson responded and walked to a wooded area near the pond. The officers apprehended the men and confiscated 35 wood ducks and 23 mallards. "I don't think these guys realize the magnitude of what they've done," Rogers said.