Below is a news release from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
Acting on an anonymous tip, Michigan Department of Natural Resources conservation officers conducted a lengthy investigation which has led to the recent arrests of two Cheboygan County men for the poaching of a cow elk.
Jakob Edward Gagnon, 21, and Logan Nathan-Edward Turbin, 22, both of Wolverine, have appeared in Cheboygan County District Court in Cheboygan – Gagnon for arraignment, Turbin for plea and sentencing.
The investigation began in September 2018 with a tip called in to the DNR’s Report All Poaching Hotline (800-292-7800). An elk had been shot in the Pigeon River Country that month.
DNR conservation officers began following up on the tip and developed several suspects. A search warrant was obtained for the residence of one of the suspects. The search took place in October 2018, when evidence supporting the elk poaching was seized, in addition to illegal narcotics.
Conservation officers said evidence shows that Gagnon shot the elk and brought it back to his residence, where he then processed it. Turbin, knowing the elk was poached, assisted him in processing the elk, taking several bags of illegal elk meat for himself.
Turbin was originally charged with possessing an elk without a license. On March 11, 2019, he pleaded guilty to a general wildlife crime. Turbin paid $795 in court fines and costs and $2,500 in restitution. His hunting privileges were revoked for one year.
Gagnon fled the state after the search warrant was executed at his home. He recently turned himself in to law enforcement authorities and was arraigned on Aug. 28. He was charged with misdemeanors of taking an elk without a license and possessing stolen property, and a felony of possessing cocaine.
If found guilty on the elk charges, Gagnon could face penalties up to $5,000 restitution, loss of hunting privileges for 15 years, 5 to 90 days in jail, as well as court fines and costs.
No evidence has been identified connecting Gagnon or Turbin, or their camps, to five elk that were poached in three separate incidents during November and December 2019. Those incidents remain under investigation.
Anyone with information regarding these or other poaching incidents should call or text the Report All Poaching Hotline line at 800-292-7800. Information can be left anonymously; monetary rewards may be offered for information that leads to the arrest of violators.
For 2020, Remington partnered with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation to increase the visibility of poaching incidents in an effort to reduce poaching nationwide.
(Photo source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)