Trophy buck was illegally taken


LAPEER, Mich. (AP) -- After his hunting buddy missed, Jeff Kerr says he couldn't resist: He shot a 13-point trophy buck on his grandmother's land in Lapeer County, a deer with a generous rack.

"This is a once-in-a-lifetime rack for a deer hunter," said Lt. Dave Malloch of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR).

But the antlers and the venison no longer belong to Kerr. The MDNR seized everything after learning that Kerr didn't get a hunting license until after he shot the deer on Nov. 20.

"I was wrong," Kerr, 28, said last Thursday. "I'm not going to point fingers."

With a construction job going well, he doubted he would get a chance to hunt. Then a pal called and they were off to his grandmother's 40 acres in Lapeer County's Marathon Township. Kerr didn't have a license but had a Remington shotgun.

"He missed it twice and I couldn't let it go again," Kerr said of the deer. "I shot him at 10 yards."

He got a license and removed the deer from the field the next day. He put the animal in his pickup truck and posed for a photo at a shop in Lapeer. The picture was posted on a website,, where people can see other Michigan trophy deer.

The MDNR said it got a tip that Kerr didn't have a $15 license when he shot the buck. He confessed after a visit from conservation officer Ken Kovach.

"I wasn't going to lie. There's nobody to blame but myself," Kerr said.

He could face fines of up to $1,500. The MDNR plans to display the antlers during public talks on hunting laws.

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