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.

Read the original May press release at https://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-350-79136_79772_81097-498133–,00.html

Source: https://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-350-79137_79770_79780-503040–,00.html