Three men facing charges in elk poaching case

Collaborator: Rachael Schuit
Published: 01/26/2021, 3:38 PM
Edited: 03/11/2021, 10:22 AM
(OTSEGO COUNTY, Mich.) Three men who are relatives are facing charges in an elk poaching case that happened in December of 2019. According to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR), three elk were found lying together just north of Hardwood Lake near Bobcat Tail and east of Vanderbilt. The men are charged with a total of eight wildlife crimes. Christian White, a Gaylord resident is facing four charges that include: hunting deer without a license, taking an over-limit of elk, failing to make a reasonable effort to retrieve the elk, and taking elk in the wrong hunting direction. Harry White, a West Branch resident is facing three charges that include: taking an over-limit of elk, failing to make a reasonable effort to retrieve the elk, and taking the elk in the wrong hunting direction. Ronald White, also a West Branch resident is charged with taking an over-limit of elk. All three men pleaded not guilty when they were arraigned on the charges on January 25th in Otsego County District Court 87A. DNR conservation officers started investigating this case after they received anonymous tips from people that connected the Whites to the location where the elk were found lying together. According to the DNR, the Whites admitted to poaching the three elk. "Without our officers' professional commitment to pursuit of the facts, these suspects would have gotten away with one of the worst elk poaching incidents I have ever seen," said Sgt. Mark DePew. "By utilizing teamwork, technology and good old-fashioned police work, this case could not have come to a better conclusion." If the Whites are found guilty, they will serve at least 30 days in jail, and possibly up to 180 days. They could also have their hunting privileges taken away for 15 years and have to pay up $5,000 per elk as well as other costs. DNR conservation officers are still investigating two other elk poaching cases that took place in late 2019.


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