A 29-year-old man from Cedar Springs, Michigan is facing some serious charges after he admitted to shooting multiple deer form his car. Edward Trout confessed to “driving around at night, listening to music and occasionally shooting his pistol into vacant fields from his pickup truck,” according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Law enforcement also stated that Trout was under the influence of alcohol and marijuana when the incident occurred.
According to the DNR, Trout has done this before, on multiple occasions since 2020. He denied the allegations against him initially, until authorities showed him the receipts. Specifically, text messages where he told multiple people about what he’d done. Only then did he cop to shooting five deer.
Michigan Man Poaches Deer From His Truck, Faces Misdemeanor Charges
There have been multiple anonymous calls and tips about gunfire late at night, then about deer carcasses found the next morning. According to WILX out of Grand Rapids, Trout faced three charges for the deer poaching but failed to show up for his court date on June 3. Since then, he’s gained two more charges for illegally hunting snapping turtles. Authorities found that he was hunting the turtles with a homemade spear.
His charges include hunting out of season; two counts of hunting without a license; taking game from a vehicle; and fishing with illegal devices, i.e. the homemade spear. He faces jail time, reimbursement to the state, and losing hunting and fishing privileges.
DNR Law Enforcement Chief Dave Shaw said in a statement, “We’re grateful for the concerned community members who reported the many dead, gunshot deer that were discovered throughout these communities, which helped officers identify a suspect. The suspect has continued to display repetitive, unethical behavior while stealing public trust resources and allowing them to go to waste.”
Michigan’s Strict Hunting Laws and Regulations
Michigan has strict hunting and fishing times and locations, as most states do. (Check out these women in Maine, where regulations also apply, who are taking over the hunting scene.) There are certain hours, dates, and areas where hunting is legal, and hunters must follow those rules to the letter. Open hunting season in Michigan is August 1st through March 31st every year; but hunters must have a valid and legal hunting license to participate. In addition to open season, there are also special hunting times during other months.
There are different hunts for deer in Michigan, including the Liberty and Independence hunts. Liberty is open to mentored youth hunters and hunters with disabilities, while Independence is only open to hunters with disabilities. There’s also early antlerless firearms hunts, archery, regular firearm, muzzleloaders, and late antlerless firearm hunts.
These different hunts allow the white-tail deer population to be managed in accordance with the Nature Conservancy; deer over-browse areas, or spread disease to conservation subjects, like moose. When the population gets too high, and nature can’t take its course, hunters help regulate the population. But, that doesn’t mean get it your truck and go shooting to “relieve frustration.” That’s called poaching, and it can land you in jail.