Conservation Wildlife Management

Michigan Man Charged with Poaching: “I Am Addicted to Venison”

“Sure, I love to kill deer,” said Scott Meisterheim, who faces unlawful hunting charges. “If I could kill more I would, to be honest with you”
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According to the DNR, Meisterheim also used illegal deer bait Michigan DNR

Scott Kevin Meisterheim, 55, who was arraigned in the 8th District Court of Kalamazoo County Mich. on Jan. 17 for a variety of illegal deer hunting charges, admits he’s “not the most ethical hunter.” According to a press statement from Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources, he’s headed to a jury trial for the charges on Feb. 15.

“Sure, I love to kill deer,” Meisterheim told investigating officer James Nason. “If I could kill more I would, to be honest with you.”

The Michigan DNR began investigating Meisterheim nearly a year ago, after tips about his suspicious activities were sent to the state’s Poaching Hotline.

Meisterheim has 10 state deer hunting charges against him. Those charges include: taking deer outside of lawful hunting hours; hunting without a license; using a deer hunting license of another person; over-the-limit of antlered deer; and possessing and transporting untagged deer.

According to the DNR, Meisterheim also used illegal deer bait and hunted property without landowner permission in Kalamazoo and Van Buren counties.

Nason patrols Kalamazoo County, located south of Grand Rapids, where most of Meisterheim’s illegal hunting activity occurred. Nason’s investigation showed that Meisterheim took at least 11 deer from Oct. 1 to Dec. 24, 2021, including three deer on Oct. 1. 

“I am addicted to venison,” Meisterheim told Nason. In explaining why he was in possession of so many deer, Meisterheim also said that injured deer would stumble into (or die) near his hunting location, according to the release.  

Scott Meisterheim charged
Scott Meisterheim faces 10 poaching charges. Michigan DNR

The investigation also showed that Meisterheim allowed two illegally-taken deer to spoil, as they were rejected by a butcher for processing.

Nason interviewed Meisterheim at the Kalamazoo County Jail, where Meisterheim was being held for a domestic abuse charge, and is currently serving 18 months probation for aggravated domestic assault.

Meisterheim is a former reality television personality from the first three seasons of “Bering Sea Gold” on the Discovery Channel, where he was reportedly depicted as a villain with back child support payments and a bad temper.

“This is an excellent investigation of a poacher who shows no respect for the resource or the ethics of fair chase,” DNR Law Enforcement chief Dave Shaw said in the release. “Violations of this type deprive law-abiding people their opportunity to have access to and enjoy a public trust natural resource, in this case whitetail deer.”