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UPDATE: More cases of disturbing deer poaching in Cedar Springs area

DNR has reported a dozen cases of deer being shot and left for dead
Posted at 12:37 PM, Feb 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-10 12:39:50-05

CEDAR SPRINGS, Mich. — Since FOX17 aired our first story on deer poaching in the Cedar Springs area, DNR has confirmed several more instances of the disturbing trend.

Since last week, residents have been spotting deer carcasses in fields and along the road in the Spencer and Nelson Township area – all of them deceased from gunshot wounds.

“Just seeing them out in the field rotten just kind of upsets us,” Cody, a local resident who didn’t want his last name used, told FOX17 Monday. “It’s a pretty sad situation what’s going on and hopefully getting the word out will get a suspect in hand.”

DNR confirmed to FOX17 Wednesday that they’re aware of a dozen deer that have fallen victim, but residents say it may be a higher count.

DNR Sgt. Jeff Rabbers said the agency's investigation began when they got their first reports on February 1st.

DNR thinks whoever is shooting the deer is doing it from a vehicle, late at night or early in the morning, and is using a high-caliber rifle. Sgt. Rabbers says they’ve tracked instances like this in the past, but it’s rare to see this amount of poaching in such a short amount of time. He acknowledged that, even though the shooter isn’t taking the deer with them, it’s still technically poaching because they’re killing deer out of season and often on private property.

DNR does have a mechanical deer they use to track poachers, but Sgt. Rabbers wouldn’t confirm the agency had decided on using that technology in this instance, only saying they’ll do what’s best for the safety of nearby residents and DNR officers.

DNR does offer rewards for information on poachers that leads to convictions. If you have any information, call their ‘Report All Poaching’ (RAP) phone line at 1-800-292-7800.