A group of poachers in Michigan is facing thousands in fines for illegally taking Canada geese and mallard ducks.
A New Baltimore court ordered eight men to pay a total of $18,500, or $2,312,50 per person, for the 2018 hunting season offense.
The men pleaded guilty to taking geese beyond their bag limits and failing to retrieve shot game, which is illegal, reports the Detroit Free Press.
Michigan bag limits for Canada geese are three per person. The group instead took 33 geese in total.
An anonymous tip was reportedly submitted to Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources about the poaching incident, complaining of a large number of geese being dumped at a private pond.
Officials said they apprehended the alleged poachers after watching them shoot 20 geese, place some of them in a pickup truck bed, and continue hunting.
The group initially denied taking more than the limit but eventually admitted to hiding 12 geese and gathering 21 more near their hunting blind.
“This was an important case that required a lot of follow-up in court,” DNR Law Enforcement Division Chief Gary Hagler said in a statement.
“Southeast Michigan is an important waterfowl resource to the state and region. I commend the anonymous tipster who reported this complaint. Because of good citizens like this, our officers can help preserve the game for deserving, fair hunters.”