Michigan Poacher Venison
Michigan DNR

‘If I could Kill More, I Would,’ Accused Michigan Poacher Tells DNR

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources just announced a slew of 10 separate hunting charges against a Kalamazoo man who is accused of shooting at least 11 deer between October and December 2021. According to a DNR press release, 55-year-old Scott Kevin Meisterheim first came onto authorities' radar in February 2022 after tips were called in to the state's Report All Poaching hotline.

Now, Meisterheim is being charged with three counts of transporting and possessing untagged antlered whitetail deer, two counts of being over the limit on antlered whitetail deer, two counts of hunting deer with no license, two counts of using someone else's deer license, and one count of taking a deer outside of lawful hunting hours.

Those are just the charges so far. The press release notes the DNR has also requested charges for failing to validate and attach kill tags, for using someone else's hunting license, and for illegal baiting. The case was investigated by Officer James Nason, who interviewed several witnesses in the case. Nason said he learned from others that Meisterheim was likely tagged out during the first week of archery season but continued to hunt. Nason also said he found that Meisterheim regularly hunted at all hours of the day. The DNR says he also trespassed onto land he didn't have permission to hunt in both Kalamazoo and Van Buren counties. The DNR also states that at least two of the deer Meisterheim killed during the early season were spoiled and rejected by area processors.

When Nason finally went to interview Meisterheim and confront him with the evidence he gathered, he didn't have to look far. Meisterheim was in Kalamazoo County Jail already on a domestic abuse complaint. During the interview, the DNR said, Meisterheim told the conservation officer he is "addicted to venison." Meisterheim also claimed he was in possession of so many deer because "injured deer would stumble to, and die near his hunting location," the DNR said. It seems the man also allegedly made no apologies for his actions.

"Sure, I love to kill deer," Meisterheim told Nason. "If I could kill more, I would, to be honest with you."

Meisterheim had a pretrial last week and will be due back in court in February on these new poaching charges. The DNR notes he is already on 18 months of probation for aggravated domestic assault. In the meantime, it seems the DNR is using the case as an example to other would-be violators.

"This is an excellent investigation of a poacher who shows no respect for the resource or the ethics of fair chase," DNR Chief Dave Shaw said in the press release. "Violations of this type deprive law-abiding people of their opportunity to have access to and enjoy a public trust natural resource, in this case white-tailed deer."

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