Trophy Buck Poaching Bill Out Of Senate Committee
A bill based on an MUCC resolution unanimously passed out of the Senate committee on Outdoor Recreation and Tourism on Thursday, November 8th.
The bill, SB 1340, increases the restitution value for poaching trophy whitetail by using the Boone & Crockett scoring system to determine the value. Currently, the fine for a poached whitetail is $1,000 whether it is a small doe or a trophy buck. This bill would use a formula to increase the restitution value (paid to the Game and Fish Fund) by a function of the trophy score, on top of the existing $1,000.
MUCC District 2 Director and Tri-County Sportsmen’s League President Jim Pryce wrote the resolution to push for this legislation in 2009 after hearing a presentation given by former Conservation Officers on poaching rings in Michigan. He was on hand Thursday to give testimony in support of the proposal.
The bill is based on similar laws in Ohio, Texas, and Pennsylvania that use a scoring system to determine fines paid on trophy bucks.
Retired CO John Borkovich, who specialized in breaking up poaching rings during his time with the department, has also worked tirelessly with Sen. Phil Pavlov (R-St. Clair) to bring this issue forward. He testified that trophy game has great value, and we need to make sure that value is realized when penalizing poachers.
This is a great example of the power MUCC members have to impact the laws and rules that regulate our outdoors!