DNR: 4 facing charges for poaching 58 ducks in Ottawa Co.

Officials say each hunter is allowed six ducks, but because bait was used it was illegal

Nearly 60 ducks were poached in Ottawa County's Chester Township. (Courtesy Michigan DNR/Oct. 14, 2016)

CHESTER TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Four Ottawa County men are facing charges for poaching nearly 60 wild ducks last Sunday, according to a release from the DNR.

On the morning of Oct. 9 the Michigan DNR received a tip on a poaching hotline regarding a large amount of shooting on private property in Ottawa County’s Chester Township near the Grand River watershed.

Two conservation officers responded a short time later and found four men near an agricultural pond allegedly shooting at crippled ducks on the water.

The Chester Township property where 58 ducks were poached. (Courtesy Michigan DNR/Oct. 14, 2016)
The Chester Township property where 58 ducks were poached. (Courtesy Michigan DNR/Oct. 14, 2016)

The DNR says the men shot and killed 58 ducks, using corn as bait. The ducks allegedly poached included 35 wood ducks and 23 mallards, including 13 mallard hens.

Officials say each hunter is allowed six ducks, but because bait was used all of the ducks were illegally killed.

One of the men allegedly admitted to putting out the bait, another admitted to knowing there was bait out there, and two others claimed they didn’t know it was baited.

The names of the four Coopersville-area men, ranging in age from 20 to 24, are being withheld until their court appearance scheduled for Oct. 26.

If convicted, the men face up to $29,000 in restitution ($500 for each duck) and could be ordered to forfeit more than $5,000 in firearms. They could also have their hunting licenses revoked for three years each.

The DNR says the dead ducks will be used at the DNR Law Enforcement Division’s Waterfowl Training School for training new officers on duck identification and necropsy studies.