John McCoy is the Charleston (W.Va.) Gazette’s award-winning outdoors writer. His "Woods & Waters" page appears weekly in the Sports section of the Sunday Gazette-Mail.
In 32 years of outdoors writing, John has had articles published in Field & Stream, Outdoor Life, Bowhunter, North American Whitetail, Hatches and other publications. His works have earned more than 50 state, regional and national awards for writing and photography.
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If you do the crime, you’ve got to do the time. To a Michigan deer poacher’s credit, he’s willing to admit he screwed up. From the Associated Press:
LAPEER, Mich. (AP) — After his hunting buddy missed, Jeff Kerr says he couldn’t resist: He shot a 13-point trophy buck on his grandmother’s land in Lapeer County, a deer with a generous rack.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime rack for a deer hunter,” said Lt. Dave Malloch of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
But the antlers and the venison no longer belong to Kerr. The DNR seized everything after learning that Kerr didn’t get a hunting license until after he shot the deer on Nov. 20.
“I was wrong,” Kerr, 28, said Thursday. “I’m not going to point fingers.”
With a construction job going well, he doubted he would get a chance to hunt. Then a pal called and they were off to his grandmother’s 40 acres in Lapeer County’s Marathon Township. Kerr didn’t have a license but had a Remington shotgun.
“He missed it twice and I couldn’t let it go again,” Kerr said of the deer. “I shot him at 10 yards.”
He got a license and removed the deer from the field the next day. He put the animal in his pickup truck and posed for a photo at a shop in Lapeer. The picture was posted on a website where people can see other Michigan trophy deer.
The DNR said it got a tip that Kerr didn’t have a $15 license when he shot the buck. He confessed after a visit from conservation officer Ken Kovach.
“I wasn’t going to lie. There’s nobody to blame but myself,” Kerr said.
He could face fines of up to $1,500. The DNR plans to display the antlers during public talks on hunting laws.