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Kalamazoo man charged in series of hunting violations, admits he’s not an ‘ethical hunter’
January 27, 2023
A Kalamazoo man who admits that he’s “not the most ethical hunter,” was in court Wednesday for a pretrial hearing related to illegal deer hunting.
Scott Kevin Meisterheim, 55, was arraigned earlier this month in the 8th District Court of Kalamazoo County for the following 10 charges, sought by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources:
- Taking white-tailed deer outside of lawful hunting hours (one count).
- Hunting white-tailed deer with no license (two counts).
- Uses the deer hunting licenses of another (two counts).
- Taking an overlimit of antlered white-tailed deer (two counts).
- Transporting/possessing untagged antlered white-tailed deer (three counts).
The DNR requested additional charges for illegal bait, failing to immediately validate/attach kill tags and using another’s (hunting) license.
“This is an excellent investigation of a poacher who shows no respect for the resource or the ethics of fair chase,” said Chief Dave Shaw, DNR Law Enforcement Division. “Violations of this type deprive law-abiding people of their opportunity to have access to and enjoy a public trust natural resource, in this case white-tailed deer.”
DNR conservation officers began investigating Meisterheim in February 2022 after receiving tips that were reported to the DNR’s Report All Poaching hotline (800-292-7800).
Conservation Officer James Nason, who patrols Kalamazoo County, investigated a series of tips by interviewing several witnesses regarding Meisterheim’s illegal hunting activity from October to December 2021.
Evidence collected during the investigation revealed that Meisterheim took at least 11 deer from Oct. 1-Dec. 24, 2021, including three deer Oct. 1, and that he believed he was “tagged out” the first week of archery season. Within three days, Meisterheim let two deer spoil; those were rejected by the processor due to their condition.
Nason interviewed Meisterheim at the Kalamazoo County Jail, where Meisterheim was lodged at the time for domestic abuse.
“Sure, I love to kill deer,” Meisterheim said. “If I could kill more I would, to be honest with you.”
Meisterheim, who was hunting without a hunting license, during all hours of the day and while using illegal bait, also obtained other people’s deer tags to cover his illegal deer, if he even tagged them at all.
He told Nason that he “is not the most ethical hunter, tagging other people’s deer, but I don’t care – I am addicted to the venison.”
In explaining why he was in possession of so many deer, Meisterheim also claimed that injured deer would stumble to, and die near his hunting location. Meisterheim also hunted several properties where he did not have permission, including in Kalamazoo and Van Buren counties.
Meisterheim is currently serving 18 months’ probation for aggravated domestic assault in Kalamazoo County. He is due back in court for the DNR charges in February.
Michigan conservation officers are fully commissioned law enforcement officers who provide natural resources protection, ensure recreational safety, and protect residents through general law enforcement and conducting lifesaving operations in the communities they serve. Learn more at Michigan.gov/ConservationOfficers.
An accompanying photo is available below for download. It is a photo Meisterheim previously shared that officers obtained as evidence. Caption information follows.
Meisterheim: Scott Meisterheim, 55, Kalamazoo faced a pretrial in Kalamazoo County earlier this week on 10 counts of illegal deer hunting, on which he was arraigned for earlier this month. He is currently serving 18 months’ probation for aggravated domestic assault in and is due back in court on the DNR charges in February.