Bay City, MI man pleads guilty to killing three wolves in Upper Peninsula
A Bay City man has pled guilty to charges of illegally killing
three wolves in Mackinac County in January. William Hayward, 58,
also pled guilty to malicious destruction of property for
destroying two tracking collars that had been placed on the wolves
by the Department of Natural Resources and Environment.
Hayward was sentenced on Monday, Feb. 14, in 92nd District Court
in St. Ignace to 365 days in jail, with 90 days to be served
immediately and the remaining time suspended if all terms of his
24-month probation are met. Additionally, Hayward was ordered to
pay $3,000 in restitution for the wolves, $590 for the replacement
of the tracking collars and $1,500 in fines and court costs.
Hayward’s hunting privileges were also revoked for a period of
three years, and the rifle he used to kill the wolves was
DNRE conservation officers conducted the investigation after
locating three dead wolves in northwestern Mackinac County in
January that had died from gunshot wounds. Hayward was developed as
the suspect, and Mackinac County Prosector Alfred Feleppa reviewed
the case and issued the charges against Hayward.
Hayward also faced possible federal charges from the U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service; however an agreement was reached with the
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that federal charges for these three
illegal wolf kills would not be brought if Hayward resolved the
matter in state court. Wolves are federally protected under the
Endangered Species Act and a person may be charged in both state
and federal court for illegally killing wolves.
Anyone with information regarding the illegal killing of wolves
or any other protected species in Michigan is asked to call the
DNRE Report All Poaching hotline at 800-292-7800, 24 hours a day,
or contact your nearest DNRE office or conservation officer.