Last month in November, a Michigan hunter mistakenly shot an elk thinking it was a really big whitetail deer. Now, he’s facing some pretty hefty fines.
We spoke with Michigan DNR officer Lt. Gorno, who confirmed the incident, saying, “it happens every year, it’s foggy and hunters just get confused somehow, but it happens every year.” Lt. Gorno also confirmed the charges for such a mistake would be a $5000 fine plus a fee of $500 for every point on the elks rack. Talk about an expensive mistaken identity! The hunter brought the elk to the Atlanta, Michigan check station, where DNR officers told the hunter he had made a mistake.
“It’s one of those things we deal with case by case, but these things just happen unfortunately,” Lt. Gorno said.
Elk in Michigan have an amazing history, and the terrain in the area this mix-up occurred is especially prime for elk to range in. The bottom line however, whether this was an honest mistake or not, hunters should always be 100% sure of their target before pulling the trigger.