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Tag Archive | "Michigan conservation officers"

High schoolers: Explore outdoors in Career Pathways Program

Students ready for an intensive, inspiring four days immersed in natural resources learning are encouraged to submit their applications for this year’s Career Pathways Program, June 23-27 at the Ralph A. MacMullan Conference Center on beautiful Higgins Lake in Roscommon County. Program highlights include hands-on field experiences with wildlife and fish biologists, foresters, park rangers and conservation officers.

High school students are invited to apply (by March 15) for the 2019 Career Pathways Program, offered for the second year by the Michigan DNR. Participants spend five days and four night (June 23-27) immersed in natural resources, learning about unique career opportunities from the people who currently work as biologists, foresters, park rangers and conservation officers and in other important roles.  www.Michigan.gov/DNREducation

DNR education manager Kevin Frailey oversees the program, now in its second year. “Over the course of a year, our department gets hundreds of inquiries from parents and students about natural resources careers,” he said. “We wanted to create a sampler of many of our key positions and let students learn about these unique career paths from the professionals themselves.”

Research shows the value of the “resident experience” in terms of learning and retention, so Career Pathways participants spend their five days and four nights at the northern Michigan conference center. Aside from fieldwork with DNR professionals, students also get the opportunity to meet representatives from Michigan colleges and get tips on resume-building and interviewing for jobs.

Applications are due March 15 and selections will be made by May 1. More information and a downloadable application are available at the Career Pathways webpage https://bit.ly/2VDRsjv.

Questions? Contact Kevin Frailey at fraileyk@michigan.gov or Bruce Ross at brucej.ross@yahoo.com.

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Saginaw County man sentenced in illegal deer baiting case

Sugar beets are shown spread over a field where illegal baiting took place in November 2016.

A Saginaw County man was fined heavily, ordered to serve jail time, probation, and community service, and had his hunting privileges revoked when he was sentenced recently for deer hunting violations he committed during the fall 2016 firearm deer hunting season. Dexter James Sysak, 40, of Merrill, Michigan, was convicted by a District Court jury in April of multiple hunting violations, dating back to Nov. 29. He was sentenced June 21.

“Sysak had taken a dump truck of sugar beets and two dump trailers of corn and placed them on his hunting property,” said Michigan Conservation Officer Joseph Myers, who investigated the case. “The actual measure of bait was impossible to count but was estimated at two-and-a-half tons.”

Myers said conservation officers were alerted to a complaint of over use of bait via an anonymous tip to the DNR Report All Poaching hotline (800-292-7800) on Nov. 27.

The following day, officers went to the area, which turned out to be an old golf course—property owned by Sysak near the Gratiot-Saginaw county line. Myers said he found access to the site using a county road easement.

“I saw a hunting blind on the right and I could see an orange object through the trees,” Myers said. “It was a grain trailer full of corn with the door broken off and about 100 gallons of corn on the ground.”

Corn was spread over a wide area. Myers said he kicked a hard object while walking, which was a sugar beet.

“There was a 150-yard cobblestone road of sugar beets making a J-shape around the blind,” Myers said. “It looked like an individual had drove onto the property and just dumped the sugar beets out of a truck.”

With no name on the blind and no one at the site, Myers didn’t know who owned the land or the property. He decided to return the next day, Nov. 29.

“There was a truck parked there. I walked up to the blind and there were four individuals in the blind,” Myers said.

Myers said he saw Sysak pick up a hunter orange vest as Myers approached the blind.

After interviewing Sysak, Myers determined the bait, far in excessive of the 2-gallon limit, had been in the area for some time.

“Sysak also admitted to me that he had taken a 9-point buck over the illegal bait, making it an illegal deer,” Myers said. “I seized evidence and cited the suspect.”

Myers said Sysak showed him the gun he used and where he shot the deer from. He also told Myers which meat processor the deer had been taken to—a place just a couple miles down the road.

Myers contacted the processor and recovered the deer meat and antlers.

Sysak pleaded not guilty.

A jury trial was held April 28 in District Court 65B in Ithaca in Gratiot County, where Sysak was found guilty by the panel of six jurors on all three charges against him. Those misdemeanors included an over limit of bait, failing to wear hunter orange and taking a deer by an illegal method.

Myers said Sysak admitted the facts necessary to prove the case during his testimony at trial. He also admitted he had rented a dump truck to place the bait on the property.

Sysak was sentenced June 21 to serve 45 days in jail, fined roughly $15,000, including $6,500 reimbursement for the deer and ordered to serve 90 hours of community service to the DNR once his jail sentence is served. He was banned from all DNR activities during his 2-year probation term. All sport license privileges were revoked through 2022.

The meat from the deer will be given to needy families in the community.

There were extensive terms set for Sysak’s probation. If any of those terms are violated, it will be grounds for Sysak serving up to 1 year in jail and potential lifetime revoking of his hunting license privileges.

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

Learn more about Michigan conservation officers at www.michigan.gov/conservationofficers.

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