On Thanksgiving Day while most of us were enjoying dinner with family and friends, a person or persons, were stealing from Michigan sportsmen. At 2:30 p.m. the Portage Police Department received a phone call of ‘shots fired.’ Officers responded to Romence Road in the area known as Celery Flats.

This particular wooded area is within the city limits with beautiful walking trails, a flowing stream and home to many species of wildlife. Among the animals that have this sanctuary as a home are some nice deer, including good size bucks. Inside the city limits, shooting of any kind is strictly prohibited. Residents may not even shoot their bows for practice in their own back yard. Responding to the call was officer Cermak, who being a big hunter himself, had an idea what had happened. After pinpointing the area of the shot fired, he soon discovered antlers sticking above the brush. He discovered a mid 140-150 class buck lying dead with a single bullet hole through its chest. At that point, Conservation Officer Paul Higashi was called in.

Less than a quarter-mile down the road, and just three days later, a call of ‘shots fired’ was again received at the Portage Police Department. Another officer and Conservation Officer Chris Holmes responded and found an even bigger buck lying dead. This awesome 6×6 buck is a dandy 160-class deer. It is believed both deer were killed for their headgear and the person(s) responsible were hoping and planning to return after dark to take the heads. Both deer were donated to a local food bank and the antlers have been kept as evidence by the DNRE. The person(s) responsible have not been caught as of yet. Anyone with information regarding the poaching of these two magnificent deer should call the DNRE R.A.P. Hotline at 800-292-7800 or the Portage Police Department.

The Kalamazoo Chapter of Whitetails Unlimited and the DNRE are offering rewards for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible.

Dave Wilkins Kalamazoo Chapter Whitetails Unlimited