56-year-old Kurt Johnston Duncan is charged with 125 cases of misdemeanor wildlife violations. They include illegally harvesting 18 wolves and 3 bald eagles in Chippewa County’s 91st District Court. Duncan originally pleaded not guilty to all counts he faces and was released after his May 20th arraignment on a $500 cash bond.
Believed to be the Highest charged wolf poaching case count
“This is believed to be the highest number of wolves poached in Michigan by one person”. – John Pepin Michigan Department of Natural Resources
Along with the accusation of the poaching of wolves and eagles, Duncan was also accused of illegally snaring coyotes, foxes, whitetail deer, bobcats, and turkeys. Leading up to a total of 49 animals poached in all.
Caught After Receiving a tip
The DNR received a tip that Duncan had “openly discussed killing multiple wolves” during the 2019-20 trapping season. Consequently, Detective Joel Lundberg gained the trust of Duncan and met him at his cabin 12 miles outside Pickford. Once there, Duncan showed Lundberg a photo of Bishop holding a dead wolf that Duncan professed to have killed. This took place on the Bishop’s 1,200-acre farm. Likewise, John Bishop and his father David Bishop both of Pickford are charged with 1 misdemeanor count. Linda Duncan of Pickford also faces 3 misdemeanor charges in connection to this case.
Michigan Law may not be Stiff Enough
In a twist of fate, Michigan law may not be stiff enough. The Bishops may have to spend more time in jail than the Duncans! Michigan law requires a sentence to be served concurrently on all counts. This means that the Bishops, if convicted would get up to a year of jail time. The Duncans, if convicted would get a maximum of 90 days no matter if they are convicted of 1 or all 125 counts against them. The U.S Endangered Species act however carries tougher penalties of up to a year in prison, but consecutive sentences are possible.
What are your thoughts on this man being charged with 125 cases of poaching? Does the punishment fit the crime? Let us know in the comments!