No more hunting for this man.
Michigan state officials permanently banned a man from hunting after he pled guilty to multiple charges related to a poaching incident from last year. The man was also sentenced to a large fine and a jail sentence of up to five years.
Conservation Officers Tyler Cole, left, and Matt Page with the heads of eight deer poached by Justin Ernst, 33, of Decatur, Michigan. (Michigan Department of Natural Resources)
Justin Ernst pled guilty to multiple charges, including one count of felony possession of a firearm, one count of obtaining a hunting license when ineligible, and three counts of illegally taking/possessing whitetail deer. According to a press release from the state’s Department of Natural Resources, Michigan has handed Ernst a lifetime ban on hunting.
He will also have to pay $25,000 in reimbursement and will serve 18 months to five years in prison.
He was also ordered to forfeit the items, which were nine illegally taken trophy bucks.
DNR officials began investigating Ernst last October after receiving a tip from state police officers. (Michigan Department of Natural Resources)
David Shaw, assistant chief of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division, said, “We’re satisfied that this criminal will be imprisoned for robbing ethical hunters, damaging crops and endangering others by recklessly driving through fields and shooting deer at night. We hope this serious sentence serves its intended purpose and are grateful for the strong message rendered by the 36th Circuit Court.”
DNR officials began investigating Ernst last October after receiving a tip from state police officers. Ernst had been involved in a domestic violence complaint, during which time police officers noticed several deer in a barn Ernst reportedly spent a lot of time in.
Eight trophy bucks were found in a barn Ernst reportedly spent a lot of time in, and investigators found one more in his possession. (Michigan Department of Natural Resources)
Eight trophy bucks were found in the barn by DNR officers, and it was discovered that Ernst was in possession of one other trophy buck as well.