International Wildlife Crimestoppers

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Michigan Cougar Killed

michigan cougar

During the 2013 muzzle-loader deer hunting season in the Upper Peninsula, CO Mike Hammill received a tip that a cougar had been killed. The crime occurred at the Richards hunting camp in Germfask Township near Seney in Schoolcraft County on December 9th 2014. The investigation revealed the animal was shot from the camp when it walked into a deer food plot while the subjects were muzzleloader hunting for deer. The animal was wounded by Troy Richard with a rifle it then fled the food plot. It was tracked and located approximately ¼ mile away the following day and killed.

During the 2013 muzzle-loader deer hunting season in the Upper Peninsula, CO Mike Hammill received a tip that a cougar had been killed. The crime occurred at the Richards hunting camp in Germfask Township near Seney in Schoolcraft County on December 9th 2014. The investigation revealed the animal was shot from the camp when it walked into a deer food plot while the subjects were muzzleloader hunting for deer. The animal was wounded by Troy Richard with a rifle it then fled the food plot. It was tracked and located approximately ¼ mile away the following day and killed.

The investigation also revealed Troy and Theodore Richard then brought the animal back to their camp field dressed, hid it, then cooked and ate part of the heart. They left for their homes in Bay County shortly after with the animal in the round in the back of Troy Richards pickup truck. Troy Richard reported that he struck a deer with his truck after leaving the camp. He picked up the deer, put it in a trailer with other deer they had killed and transported it to the Michigan State Police Post in St Ignace where he obtained a permit for the deer all while having the cougar in the truck just out of view.

The investigation also revealed Troy and Theodore Richard then brought the animal back to their camp field dressed, hid it, then cooked and ate part of the heart. They left for their homes in Bay County shortly after with the animal in the round in the back of Troy Richards pickup truck. Troy Richard reported that he struck a deer with his truck after leaving the camp. He picked up the deer, put it in a trailer with other deer they had killed and transported it to the Michigan State Police Post in St Ignace where he obtained a permit for the deer all while having the cougar in the truck just out of view.

Troy Richard returned to his residence with the cougar where the animal was skinned out and prepared it for mounting. The skull was also boiled and preserved; the remains of the carcass were disposed of.

It was discovered when the Richard’s learned that Conservation Officers knew about the poaching they attempted to hide the evidence. The cougar hide and skull were eventually recovered, the entrails of the adult male cougar were also found. They suspects ultimately admitted the crime and related it as one of opportunity, a once in a lifetime chance to kill a cougar in Michigan and have it mounted. Cougars are on the Michigan endangered species list and are a protected animal that may not be hunted.

Troy Robert Richards, 42, of Bay City, MI pled guilty to the Taking /Possession of an endangered species and Conspiracy to take an endangered species. Troy Richard was sentenced to 30 days in jail, a 3 year revocation of all hunting privileges, $5775 in fines, Court costs and restitution including expenses to preserve the animal for educational purposes. Richard also forfeited the weapon involved in the taking of the animal and was ordered to serve 120 hours of community service.

Theodore Robert Richard, 68, of Munger, MI pled guilty to Aiding and Abetting the illegal Taking /Possession of an endangered species and paid $1725 fines and costs, and had all hunting privileges revoked for a period of 2 years and 96 hours of Community Service.

Todd Anthony Richard, 43, of Burt, MI pled no contest to taking/possession of an endangered species. Richard was sentenced to $625.00 fines and costs along with 24 hours of community service for his role in the poaching. He owns and operates a Taxidermy business in Bay County and is a brother to Troy Richard.

 

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