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Michigan DNR Seeking Information on Poaching of 500-Pound Black Bear

Travis Smola

A Kalkaska County bear killed with a shotgun in last week of April.

The Michigan DNR has confirmed an incident of bear poaching in Kalkaska County and are now looking for the public's help in tracking down the culprits responsible.

An angler found a 500-pound male bear dead in the Manistee River back on April 30. The bear's carcass was located near Springfield Township's Rainbow Jim's Bridge Boat Launch. The angler who found the large bruin contacted the DNR. Officers were able to confirm the presence of metal in the bear's body with a metal detector, leading to further investigation.

A subsequent autopsy revealed the bear had been killed from a shotgun wound. The poaching happened sometime in the last week of April and now the DNR is looking for additional information from the public.

"Anyone who has information that may assist us in finding the persons or persons responsible for the poaching of this bear is asked to contact the DNR," DNR Sgt. Jeremy Pane said in a press release.

In Michigan, poaching a bear is a misdemeanor and the culprit or culprits could face 90 days in jail and fines of up to $4,500. A reward is being offered for information leading to arrest and conviction in the case and informants have the option to leave a tip anonymously.

If you have information in the case you'd like to share with detectives, you can contact Michigan's Report a Poacher Hotline at 800-292-7800 or call 1st Lt. Glenn Gutierrez at 989-275-5151, extension 7100.


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Michigan DNR Seeking Information on Poaching of 500-Pound Black Bear