Lawmakers mull tougher poaching penalties

Capital News Service
LANSING – Poaching can mean serious problems for wildlife management – especially for Michigan’s struggling and carefully managed populations like moose and elk, according to the Michigan United Conservation Clubs (MUCC). And state officials are working to curb it. A bill package going through the Legislature would increase penalties for poaching in the form of a steep hike in restitution that poachers must pay to the state. The legislation would also lengthen hunting license suspensions for some violations – poaching a moose or elk, for example, would get a 15-year suspension for a first-time offense and a lifetime ban for repeat offenses, up from a flat three years per violation. “So when poachers do get caught, it really hits them in the wallet,” said Sen. Phil Pavlov, R-St.