3 more elk killed, DNR says worst year for poaching

Dec 18, 2019

The Michigan DNR took this photo near where three cow elk were killed in the Pigeon River State Forest.
Credit Michigan DNR

Five elk have been poached this year, which makes it the worst elk poaching year on record, according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

All the poaching cases for northern Michigan happened roughly within a month. 

In the latest case, Michigan DNR Lieutenant Jim Gorno says he estimates the three cow elk were shot sometime this weekend while they were laying down near each other.

 

"This is a loss for everyone who appreciates our state’s natural resources,” Gorno says. “It’s a true shame.”

 

He says nearby residents found three elk about 50 yards off of Hardwood Lake Road near Bobcat Trail in the Pigeon River State Forest. The area is east of Vanderbilt.

 

Gorno says when animals are found near a road, the DNR believes drivers may spot the elk and impulsively decide to kill them. He says in at least one of the cases a hunter is suspected because some the animals were found in hunting areas.

“I don’t believe that hunters, true hunters have anything to do with this,” Gorno said of the last poaching incident. “I think it’s a person out there that has no idea what they’re doing… attempting to hunt. And then just end up poaching an animal.”

Gorno says that the public tips received regarding the first bull elk poached helped the DNR identify a suspect.

He says anyone with information regarding this poaching incident can contact the DNR Law Enforcement Division at the DNR Customer Service Center in Gaylord at 989-732-3541, or call or text the Report All Poaching hotline at 800-292-7800.