(CBS DETROIT) – Three northern Michigan men related to each other were sentenced in Otsego County District Court in Gaylord for a 2019 elk-poaching incident, in which three elk cows were killed.

Christian White, 29, of Gaylord, Harry White, 70, and Ronald White, 56, both of West Branch, each pleaded guilty to one count of illegally taking an elk.

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Each man lost his hunting privileges for 15 years, forfeited his weapon and was ordered to serve a six-month probation term. In addition, each must pay $5,000 in restitution for the elk and a total of $625 in fines and court costs.

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Conservation officers began investigating the three men more than a year ago, after receiving anonymous tips that eventually connected the suspects, and then confirmed they had been at the location where the three elk cows were found dead. That location was situated 50 yards north of Hardwood Lake Road, near Bobcat Trail, east of Vanderbilt in Otsego County.

Anyone who witnesses or suspects a natural resource violation has occurred should immediately call or text the DNR’s Report All Poaching hotline at 800-292-7800. Information can be reported to the tip line anonymously and monetary rewards may be offered for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of violators.

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