The owner of two privately owned cervid (POC) facilities in Osceola County, Michigan, reappeared in court last week for sentencing related to 11 arrest warrants resulting from a Michigan Department of Natural Resources investigation.
Facility owner Ryan Hopkins, 42, of Sears, Michigan, pleaded no contest to four of the 11 counts, including:
- Failure to maintain facility standard fencing.
- Failure to submit annual inventories.
- Failure to comply with individual animal identification.
- Operating an unregistered facility.
The judge in the Osceola County 77th Judicial District assessed Hopkins to pay $5,275 in fines and court costs for the four counts. The remaining seven counts were dismissed per a plea deal with the prosecutor’s office.
POC facilities are also known as “deer farms.” Hopkins Trophy Whitetails, which operates both a breeding facility and a ranch in Sears, offers paying clients the opportunity to hunt whitetail deer.
Hopkins’ history of violations includes failure to:
- Maintain facility fencing standards and inspection records.
- Submit annual inventory reports.
- Maintain records of appropriate disposal of deer.
- Meet animal tagging requirements.
- Produce records at the request of law enforcement.
- Comply with disease testing standards.
- Properly register two facilities.
- Properly report deer escapes.