Deer poaching leaves two fawns abandoned in Baraga County

Contact: Lt. Ryan Aho, 906-353-6651 ext. 207-0109
Agency: Natural Resources

July 1, 2020

Michigan Department of Natural Resources conservation officers are seeking tips from the public about a white-tailed doe that was killed illegally near L’Anse High School.

A local resident contacted Conservation Officer Cody Smith at around 8 p.m. on June 19 reporting a distressed doe located on Spruce Street. The doe died from a gunshot wound before Smith arrived.

Investigating officers learned that shots were heard in a wooded area located behind the L’Anse High School baseball fields earlier that evening. L’Anse is the Baraga County seat.

Smith performed a necropsy, which confirmed that the deer died from internal damage caused by a small caliber rifle bullet that struck near the chest. While performing the necropsy, Smith observed the deer lactating, indicating that she had recently given birth.

Nearby residents helped Smith locate two abandoned fawns, estimated to be about two weeks old at the time. After observing the fawns with no return of a doe, they were taken to a local wildlife rehabilitator.

This is the third poaching incident within 30 days the DNR has investigated, requesting public tips be directed to the Report All Poaching (RAP) hotline at 1-800-292-7800. Tipsters can call or text information anytime.

Information can be left anonymously. Monetary rewards are available for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of violators.

During 2019, a total of more than $9,700 was awarded to tipsters for information that led to the arrest and conviction of poachers.

Michigan conservation officers are fully commissioned state peace officers who provide natural resources protection, ensure recreational safety and protect residents by providing general law enforcement duties and lifesaving operations in the communities they serve. Learn more at