Jail time, loss of hunting privileges, more than $30,000 in reimbursement for Michigan deer poacher

An Allegan County man has pleaded guilty to deer poaching as the result of an investigation by Michigan Department of Natural Resources conservation officers.

Colton Anderson, 22, of Plainwell was sentenced Jan. 18 in Allegan County 57th District Court to 60 days in jail, $30,250 in reimbursement to the state and the loss of hunting privileges for seven years.

The investigation began when Conservation Officer Richard Cardenas received information about an illegally killed deer in Barry County. Officer Cardenas went to Anderson’s residence and observed multiple sets of deer antlers hanging in the garage. The antlers had 2015 deer licenses attached to them.

After obtaining a search warrant, Cardenas and fellow Conservation Officer Justin Ulberg searched Anderson’s garage and seized an 11-point, 5-point, 7-point and five 8-point sets of antlers. The licenses attached to the antlers belonged to people who were not living at the residence.

Cardenas contacted the individuals who purchased the 2015 licenses, and all claimed they were unaware that Anderson was illegally using their licenses.

In addition to illegally hunting with someone else’s deer licenses, Anderson’s hunting privileges already had been revoked after a 2014 conviction of illegally killing a deer with a rifle in Allegan County.

Cardenas requested the Allegan County Prosecutor’s Office charge Anderson for hunting while his privileges were revoked, using another person’s kill tags, and five counts for each violation of taking more than the legal limit of antlered deer. The Prosecutor’s Office authorized the charges and a warrant was issued for Anderson’s arrest.

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