Cougar Illegally Killed In Schoolcraft County


File Photo: Originally posted to Flickr as Those Eyes

SCHOOLCRAFT COUNTY, Mich. — According to a news release The Michigan Department of Natural Resources law enforcement officials have confirmed a cougar was illegally killed last week in the Upper Peninsula’s Schoolcraft County.

Acting on a tip that a cougar had been illegally killed at a hunting camp in northeast Schoolcraft County, DNR conservation officers and Special Investigations Unit detectives were able to successfully recover evidence and identify and apprehend two suspects from Bay County.

Upon completion of the DNR’s investigation, the case will be turned over to the Schoolcraft County Prosecuting Attorney with warrant requests for charges. The state penalty for illegally killing a cougar, classified as an endangered species in Michigan, is up to 90 days in jail and fines and restitution of up to $2,500.

Anyone with information about this or any other poaching case is encouraged to call the DNR’s Report All Poaching (RAP) hotline at 800-292-7800, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Information can also be reported online at Tips and information can be left anonymously; information that leads to an arrest and conviction is eligible for a cash reward funded by the state’s Game and Fish Protection Fund.

A trail camera photo of a cougar near the same area as this incident was recently confirmed by the DNR’s Wildlife Division. Wildlife officials believe the animal killed was most likely the same cougar seen in the recent photo.

Cougars, also known as mountain lions, disappeared from the state in the early 1900s. The last confirmed wild cougar in Michigan prior to 2008 was an animal killed near Newberry in 1906.

Since 2008, the DNR has confirmed photos or tracks of cougars on 23 occasions in 10 Upper Peninsula counties. The animals are believed to be young individuals dispersing from established populations in the Dakotas in search of new territory. There is no evidence of a breeding population of cougars in the state.

The Wildlife Division’s specially trained cougar team welcomes citizen reports of possible cougar evidence or sightings. Cougar photos and other evidence – such as tracks, scat or cached kills – should be reported to a local DNR office or through the DNR’s online reporting form at


5 Comments to “Cougar Illegally Killed In Schoolcraft County”

    George said:
    December 20, 2013 at 4:29 PM

    Good, now revoke their hunting rights for life and they poach again revoke their second amendment rights for life.

      Javier Rivera-Rivera said:
      December 21, 2013 at 2:17 AM

      Unfortunately, you are the ASSHAT in this situation.
      According to Merriam-Webster, an ASSHAT is a person who "…believes they are all-knowing and often jumps to conclusion(s) based on little or no information regarding an incident that may or may not involve a dead Cougar in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan." Congratulations, you fit that definition.
      However, this is very typical of West Michigan residents.
      Good Day!

      neigborhooddogwoof said:
      December 21, 2013 at 7:12 AM

      yah whey are you acting like you care so much? shut your ugly face. those things aint 5hittin in my yard i can tell you that, or peeing on my bushes…thats my bush! thats my bush!!!

    SlammerHammer said:
    December 20, 2013 at 6:08 PM

    First the DNR was adamant there were absolutely NO cougars in Michigan period despite numerous sighting, paw prints, scat, and livestock attacks (one being a horse owned by an Allegan County deputy).

    They (DNR) denied they were wild cougars, speculating they were "escapees" from backyard zoos etc. Then they finally acknowledged there are cougars in the UP, but none in the lower peninsula despite the FEDS saying they were roaming in both upper and lower peninsulas.

    How long is it going to take for them to acknowledge there ARE breeding groups of cougars in ALL of Michigan?

    I believe there should be stiffer penalties for killing these majestic cats. If you shoplift you face harsher penalties than killing this endangered animal.

    The first course of action is the DNR needs to start being honest with the public about these beautiful cats.

    To report big cat sightings please go to which is based here in Michigan.

      mypuppytiaandme said:
      December 21, 2013 at 7:09 AM

      ok mister slamham you are being like alot of people in michigan and youre riding the fence. why are people so retarded, calling them "majestic" and "beautiful" when they are simply an oversized housecat that could chew your leg off. I agree these cougars are pretty animals but you cat lovers are gonna find out the hard way just how comfortable people are when they are roaming in their backyard. especially people with children or dogs.

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