A Marquette, Mich., man has been arraigned on 26 counts of alleged waterfowl and charter operation violations, according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
Terry Jay Wilson was arraigned on the charges in two counties, Arenac and Mackinac, after a two-year investigation by detectives from the Michigan DNR Law Enforcement Division's Special Investigations Unit.
"This case exemplifies the natural resource and public safety issues that conservation officers are out there to handle," said Lt. Jason Haines, supervisor of the DNR's Special Investigations Unit. "We do this in an effort to protect Michigan's wildlife resources as well as the safety of the public wishing to utilize them."
On Jan. 25, Wilson was arraigned in Arenac County District Court in Standish on 17 counts of alleged illegal waterfowl activity. The 30-year-old waived arraignment in Mackinac County District Court in St. Ignace on nine additional charges. The investigation started after allegations of illegal waterfowl hunting and guiding were made against Wilson.
Investigators say that several times during the investigation, Wilson operated a waterfowl hunting charter for a fee on Great Lakes waters. At times, conditions were unsafe, with waves over 7 feet and temperatures below freezing. Other violations by Wilson including shooting waterfowl while the boat was under power and allegedly encouraging client to also do so, plus encouraging them to exceed bag limits.
Wilson is facing a maximum punishment of over $20,000 in fines and reimbursement, hunting license revocation, one year in jail and condemnation of the boat, if he is convicted.
Pretrial conference dates are scheduled for March 9 in Mackinac County and March 21 in Arenac County.