OWOSSO TWP. (WWJ/AP) – A 51-year-old Michigan man is facing 125 charges related to poaching deer and turkey.
The Shiawassee County Sheriff’s Office says Brian Birchmeier was arraigned Friday.
Birchmeier, of Owosso Township, is charged with 115 counts of taking or possessing deer over the legal limit and seven counts of taking turkey without a permit. He also is charged with illegal baiting.
Following up on a tip, a conservation office with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources found a number of antlers and illegal bait piles at Birchmeier’s home, about 70 miles northwest of Detroit, in early October.
Officers executed a search warrant at Birchmeier’s home, and seized more than 170 antlers, as well as shoulder mounts, crossbows and turkey beards.
“This is one of the larger poaching cases we have seen in recent years,” Lt. Sherry Chandler of the DNR’s Law Enforcement Division said in a statement.
“As the start of firearm deer season approaches, this arrest is an important reminder that game laws are in place to protect the state’s natural resources, including its deer population, so we can safeguard a healthy herd for all Michigan hunters,” Chandler continued.
Based on a review of licenses purchased by Birchmeier, and an absence of hunting records prior to 1982, the number of deer parts alone that Birchmeier illegally possesses is estimated at well over 100, according to the DNR.
“Hunting and fishing are great traditions in Michigan,” said Chandler. “The state depends on hunting and fishing regulations to make sure that tradition is protected and enhanced for future generations.”
Birchmeier could face more than $120,000 in reimbursement payments, loss of his hunting privileges and as many as 90 days in jail. Each hunting-related charge carries a penalty of as much as $500 per violation. Each license violation carries a penalty of as much as $250 per violation.
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