MACOMB COUNTY, Mich. (WXYZ) — Three Macomb County men have been fined nearly $20,000 after pleading guilty to illegally hunting and baiting waterfowl back in December, according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
Richard Schaller, 52, Robert Kucinski, 49, and Timothy Morris, 58, all of Harrison Township, pleaded guilty to 13 misdemeanor charges.
The men were reported to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Report All Poaching hotline on Dec. 6. The caller left a tip that the men were potentially over the limit of taken waterfowl near a pond off Chesterfield Road.
Conservation officers who arrived on the scene caught the men shooting and killing multiple geese. The officers found that the men had clearly exceeded daily hunting limits.
In total, the men killed 39 waterfowl, including:
- 23 Canada geese (14 over limit).
- 16 mallards (four mallards over the total limit), of which eight were hen mallards (an over-limit of two hen mallards).
The men's firearms were confiscated and they were each ordered to pay $6,500 in reimbursement to the state totaling $19,500. They also had to pay court fines totaling more than $3,000 collectively.
“Waterfowl are a precious resource to Michiganders and the other 13 states that share and protect this resource within the Mississippi Flyway Zone,” said Lt. Todd Szyska, DNR Law Enforcement supervisor in Detroit. “Cases like this emphasize the important role our officers play in protecting waterfowl so they can be shared equally. In the past, hunting over-limits of waterfowl led to low population numbers and species protection – such as the canvasback duck. It is through effective biological management, established seasons and bag limits, and enforcement that we are able to continue the waterfowl hunting heritage.”