DNRE Conservation Officers Investigate Illegal Deer Killing in Delta County


Conservation officers from the Department of Natural Resources and Environment are pursuing charges with the Delta County Prosecutor’s Office against suspects who allegedly killed a deer on Saturday, Feb. 27, over a large bait pile at a deer camp so the deer could be used as bait to lure bald eagles to the property for viewing.

On Saturday, DNRE conservation officers responded to a citizen complaint in Delta County about a large bait pile in a remote area near an inland lake. Upon investigation, officers discovered a bait pile estimated at more than 100 gallons at a deer camp with a blood trail leading to a freshly killed deer on the ice.

The conservation officers set up surveillance on the camp and made contact with the owner and other suspects upon their return from snowmobiling. According to statements from the suspects, they admitted to shooting the deer to bait eagles so they could view them.

Conservation officers seized the deer and the rifle used, and are seeking charges with the Delta County Prosecutor’s Office. Backstraps from the deer had been removed and were located by officers in the suspects’ camp.

Citizens are encouraged to contact the DNRE’s Report All Poaching Hotline at 800-292-7800 with any information regarding any wildlife or fish violations. A monetary reward is often given for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of a violator.