3 men facing charges in 'historic' elk poaching case in northern Michigan

Posted at 5:52 PM, Jan 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-26 17:52:01-05

(WSYM) — The Michigan Department of Natural Resources said three men have been arraigned on charges in what they are calling a 'historic' elk poaching case from 2019.

Christian White, 29, of Gaylord, and Harry White, 70, and Ronald White, 56, both of West Branch, were arraigned on a total of eight wildlife charges. The DNR said they admitted to poaching three cow elk in Pigeon River Country in December of 2019. They have pleaded not guilty on the charges.

“This case can be summed up with one word – diligence,” said Sgt. Mark DePew, who supervised the case, in a press release. “Without our officers' professional commitment to pursuit of the facts, these suspects would have gotten away with one of the worst elk poaching incidents I have ever seen. By utilizing teamwork, technology and good old-fashioned police work, this case could not have come to a better conclusion.”

The investigation into the three relatives began more than a year ago after receiving anonymous tips that connected the suspects to the scene where three dead elk were found, according to the DNR.

If found guilty, the family members will spend 30 days in jail, with a maximum stay of 180 days. The DNR says the misdemeanor charges include a 15-year revocation of hunting privileges and reimbursement up to $5,000 per elk.