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, and 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.
Hopkins is the owner and operator of the Sears-based Hopkins Trophy Whitetails. POC facilities are also known as “deer farms.”
According to the MDNR, Hopkins Trophy Whitetails offers customers the chance to whitetail deer. Previously, he was arraigned on several misdemeanor charges tied to facility maintenance and inspections, reporting and other areas.
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.
If you witness or suspect a natural resource violation, call or text the DNR’s Report All Poaching hotline at 800-292-7800.
Learn more about Michigan’s conservation officers at Michigan.gov/ConservationOfficers.