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Three men arrested in connection with poaching elk

"Cow Elk" by GlacierNPS is marked under CC PDM 1.0. To view the terms, visit

Three relatives have been arrested for poaching elk in the Pigeon River State Forest in 2019.

The incident was one of the worst elk poachings in Michigan’s history. 

Christian, Harry and Ronald White have all been charged after illegally shooting three cow elk east of Vanderbilt a little over a year ago.

They pleaded not guilty to eight charges of wildlife crimes and were arraigned in Otsego District Court.

DNR Sergeant Mark DePew oversaw the investigation.

He says it was the worst elk poaching case he’s ever seen.

“The fact that this person, or persons at the time, just arbitrarily went up there and shot three of these animals and then left them," said DePew. "Just shooting them for whatever reason, was just sickening.”

The poaching’s were part of a rough 2019 for Michigan’s elk herd.

The DNR is still pursuing two other unsolved elk poaching’s from November of that same year.