A man used others’ tags while poaching 13 deer.
A Minnesota man has pled guilty to poaching and illegally transporting 13 deer in an illegal party hunting case from last November.
Michael Walz of Zimmerman, Minn. pled guilty to two counts of transporting illegally-taken big game and two counts of soliciting/borrowing the big game license of another person.
While Walz has avoided a jail sentence and a hefty fine, he has been placed on two years of probation and will have to do 80 hours of community service. He will also lose all big game hunting privileges for the next three years.
Additionally, he must write a public apology for his actions in Minnesota Outdoor News.
Even though he avoided fines, the case still cost Walz almost $3,200 in legal fees.
The situation came about last November when Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) officer Mitch Sladek spotted a woman and her daughter enter the Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge past a locked gate, pulling a deer cart with them.
When the officer confronted the woman, she told him her husband, Walz, had shot a deer. When the officer met with Walz further into the refuge, he was found to be in possession of an untagged buck and multiple other licenses besides his own.
Walz later admitted to using other peoples’ tags to pass off multiple deer as legally killed. The tags in his possession were in the name of his friend, daughter and father, none of whom were with him when he shot any of the deer.
The officer ended up confiscating six whitetail shoulder mounts, seven antler wall plaques, a pickup truck, and a bow from the suspect’s home. Walz admitted that all the deer were illegally taken and transported out of the Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge or the Sand Dunes State Forest.
The wall mounts and plaques seized in the case will now be used as part of educational, anti-poaching displays with the Minnesota DNR.
“This is an example of someone who is passionate about taking deer, but has lost appreciation of the animals hunted and respect of the laws protecting a resource that belongs to all citizens,” DNR enforcement division director Ken Soring said in a press release.