Illegal deer baiting means jail time, $15K fine for Michigan man

Sugar beets, along with corn, for baiting purposes added up to an estimated two-and-a-half tons. (Michigan DNR)

A Saginaw County man was fined heavily, ordered to serve jail time, probation and community service, and had his hunting privileges revoked when he was sentenced recently for deer hunting violations he committed during the fall 2016 firearm deer hunting season.

Dexter James Sysak, 40, of Merill was convicted by a District Court jury in April of multiple hunting violations dating back to Nov. 29. He was sentenced June 21 to serve 45 days in jail, fined roughly $15,000, including $6,500 reimbursement for the deer and ordered to serve 90 hours of community service to the DNR once his jail sentence is served. He was banned from all DNR activities during his two-year probation term. All sport license privileges were revoked through 2022.

“Sysak had taken a dump truck of sugar beets and two dump trailers of corn and placed them on his hunting property,” said Michigan Conservation Officer Joseph Myers, who investigated the case. “The actual measure of bait was impossible to count but was estimated at two-and-a-half tons.”

Myers said conservation officers were alerted to a complaint of over use of bait via an anonymous tip to the DNR Report All Poaching hotline (800-292-7800) on Nov. 27.

“Sysak also admitted to me that he had taken a 9-point buck over the illegal bait, making it an illegal deer,” Myers said. “I seized evidence and cited the suspect.”

Myers said Sysak showed him the gun he used and where he shot the deer from. He also told Myers which meat processor the deer had been taken to, a place just a couple miles down the road.

Myers contacted the processor and recovered the deer meat and antlers. The meat from the deer will be given to needy families in the community.

A jury trial was held April 28 in District Court 65B in Ithaca in Gratiot County, where Sysak was found guilty by the panel of six jurors on all three charges against him. Those misdemeanors included an over-limit of bait, failing to wear hunter orange and taking a deer by an illegal method.

Categories: Hunting News, Whitetail Deer

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