Local hunters facing multiple illegal hunting charges


OGEMAW COUNTY — Three men from Prescott have been arraigned on multiple charges of illegally taking wildlife and a Standish man has been charged with a single count of cruelty to animals, according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Jerome Thorson, 64, and his sons, Ole Thorson, 35, and Travis Thorson, 40, all of Prescott, were arraigned in Ogemaw County District Court Feb. 16 on multiple charges resulting from a 12-month undercover investigation involving both the Michigan DNR and Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Todd Osier, 41, of Standish, was arraigned Feb. 23 in Ogemaw County District Court on a single count of cruelty to animals.

The investigation was conducted by the Michigan DNR's Special Investigations Unit and Colorado Parks and Wildlife Law Enforcement Unit.

"The investigation was initiated in 2010," said Det. Lt. Jason Haines of the Michigan DNR. "They initiated the investigation in Colorado, and then we received some information about the group, which prompted us to become involved as well."

According to the DNR, Jerome Thorson faces 23 separate counts on charges of importation of illegally taken game from another state; capturing whitetail deer from the wild; building and maintaining an illegal deer enclosure without a permit; illegal taking of otter, bobcat and mink; illegal trapping; possession of an illegal silencer; and animal cruelty to horses.

Ole Thorson has been charged with importing elk illegally taken in another state and possession of an illegally taken pine marten. Travis Thorson faces one count of cruelty to animals.

Each Michigan wildlife charge is a misdemeanor with a possibility of 90 days in jail. Fines can range from $100 to $1,000 on each charge. Several of the charges require mandatory hunting license revocation upon conviction.

The illegal possession of a silencer is a felony with the possibility of five years in prison and a fine of up to $2,500. The felony animal cruelty charges have fines up to $5,000 and the possibility of four years in prison.

In Colorado, the Thorsons, Osier and three accomplices face a total of 48 charges stemming from the illegal killing and possession of several trophy-class elk, black bear and bobcat over several years in the King Mountain area of Routt County.

In addition to his misdemeanor violations, Ole Thorson is charged with felony willful destruction of wildlife and forgery. Travis Thorson has already been arraigned in Colorado on multiple felony menacing charges related to his 2011 hunt.

"It seems like every so often, a case like this will pop up," Haines said. "But, this is not the first time we've encountered a situation like this one."

Colorado law allows for enhanced fines and jail time in instances where either trophy big game animals or multiple big game animals are taken.

If convicted, Ole Thorson faces more than a year in prison, more than $90,000 in fines and a lifetime suspension of his hunting and fishing privileges in Michigan, Colorado and 35 other states that participate in the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact.

Each of the other defendants faces in excess of $10,000 in fines and lengthy suspensions of their hunting and fishing privileges.



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Way to stay on top of things Ogemaw Herald. This story has been reported by various news media from Flint to Traverse City starting four days ago. Or did you have to double check your sources again?

Friday, March 2, 2012 | Report this

Thank you for your comment. We communicate regularly with law enforcement agencies in our county watching for stories such as this. We also depend on tips from those agencies and other people to find stories. In this particular case, I don't know why we were not notified. However, we will not report a story until we have confirmed it ourselves. Typically we know and report local issues well before outside news agencies do. But on occasion we are not able to confirm a story before other agencies run it.

We always welcome news tips from people in our community. If you have a news tip, email it to editor@ogemawherald.com, or call 989-345-0044.

You may also get in touch with me if you have any other questions about our news coverage.

Thank you

Eric Young

Managing Editor

Friday, March 2, 2012 | Report this

Well, after 4 days I still had not heard it until I saw it here.

Friday, March 2, 2012 | Report this

I'll second that.

Friday, March 2, 2012 | Report this

Yes, It may require turning on the news or reading another newspaper. It makes one wonder what else your missing.

Friday, March 2, 2012 | Report this

Ogemaw, you need to find something to occupy your time. If the Herald doesent meet your standards, dont read it

Saturday, March 3, 2012 | Report this

Very good ethics on your part Eric to confirm a story before publishing it! It is not always done this way. As for these so-called "hunters or outdoors-man", throw away the key! How about cruel & unusually punishment for them? I am no way a member of PETA and I do hunt & fish, but these guys are just scum period! You usually have to listen or read both sides of the story (left & right/ liberal & conservative) to get the "truth" and then make a decision on what you personally believe. Not in this case.

Saturday, March 3, 2012 | Report this

Wow you hear of all these people going out of state to hunt, now do I understand if they get something they can't bring it home if it has to cross a state line?

Saturday, March 3, 2012 | Report this

Oh sorry I reread it and see now they were all taken illegally.

Saturday, March 3, 2012 | Report this

Good that they were caught, but holy geez.. the DNR had to monitor them for 12 months before they decided to bust them?

Sunday, March 4, 2012 | Report this

I personally believe no one should defend these guys. They deserve everything that's coming to them for so many reasons!!! It shouldn't matter when the Herald posted it or how long it took. They had every right to get accurate information. You're allowed to bring your animals home from hunts in other states IF it's during their hunting times NOT POACHING! Also, had you seen some of those animals weren't to be hunted in those states just as Elk isn't to be hunted here except during a small period by so many people!!! Why did the DNR monitor them for 12 months probably to gather enough info to prosecute them. Sometimes animal investigations can take some time especially since these guys would stay gone for a long time before bringing the animals home. They deserve all that they get! Don't attack the Herald for the time it took them or the DNR for that matter. The point is they did what they did, and it'll be no more slaps on the wrists for these guys!!!

Sunday, March 4, 2012 | Report this


Thank you for setting so many of us straight on so many levels. Obviously you are wise beyound beleif.

Sunday, March 4, 2012 | Report this

these guys have been doing this for a lot longer then one year! Anyone who knows them knows this. Not only are cruel to animals but to people too. I am glad they got caught and hope that they keep them in prison and they become someone's "girlfriend' real quick so they know what it feels like to be kicked when you are down. I smiled when I read this article even though I heard it on 9 and 10 news a while back.

Monday, March 5, 2012 | Report this

You would think that MAYBE, the reporter would like to hear BOTH sides of the story!!!!!! I'm glad to see that the state of Michigan has so much money to spend on this whole investigation!!!!

As far as dmanwaring1 goes.........how many times have you TAKEN more than you're LEGAL AMOUNT of fish?????

Keep pointing your fingers Ogemaw County!!!!!!!!!!!!

What ever happened to "INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY"? I guess it is all about proving your innocence these days!!!!!!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012 | Report this

I guess the lumberjack was innocent his whole life and never made a mistake? Yes I took over the limit of fish on numerous occasions in my youth. i have since learned many things thru live and one of which is too support all of the efforts by the parks & wildlife, DNR etc. Does that make me (dmanwaring1) guilty my whole life? I often wonder why people hide behind a user name that in no way reflects who they are.

Friday, March 9, 2012 | Report this

The user name was in reference to my childs father!!!! Not hiding behind any user name, you'd like to know who I am??? Kimberlee Keith. You know the sister of your buddy that you fish with on occasion??? AGAIN, keep pointing your finger!!!! Everyone likes to assume that one person is guilty, and like to run their mouth, that is VERY EASY when you only hear one side of the story!!!!!! I don't really believe that anyone likes to have their name drug through the mudd, especially when it is ALLEGED!!!!!!!!! I know you have absolutely nothing better to do than talk about other people, really feel sorry for you!!!!!! GET A LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, March 9, 2012 | Report this

I have a life. I moved away from WB long ago. I do this for entertainment.

Friday, March 9, 2012 | Report this

The Herald would like to address that the user posting as dmanwaring1 is not from Ogemaw County. The spelling of this user's username has caused some to believe that comments from this user have been posted by someone from our area, but that is not the case.

If you have any further questions, you can email me at editor@ogemawherald.com.

Thank you

Eric Young

Managing Editor

Monday, March 12, 2012 | Report this

Thank you to the editor for setting that straight!!! I did speak with the person that is from Ogemaw County with this same name. I don't believe this other person should be able to post anything on the Herald's website AT ALL!!!!!! He doesn't live here, he isn't part of our community, like he said, he moved away a long time ago, FOR GOOD REASON!!!!!! I have apologized to the real dmanwaring for assuming it was him making all the childish comments, for his "entertainment."

Like I said before, it is easy for everyone else to point their fingers!!!! Sad that they have nothing better to do.

As far as the other dmanwaring, the one from Texas, you are a sad lonely person if you put these posts on for your "entertainment". I pity you!!!!!!!!!

Monday, March 12, 2012 | Report this

You make absolutely no sence what so ever. And still, PITY YOU, what a waste of space you are!!!!!!!!!!!!! You know, there might be medications to help you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And again, you are not a part of our community, I have already contacted the herald to have you blocked from making any more comments!!!!! FIND A HOBBY!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012 | Report this

I don't have a job as I retired in 2011 if it is any business of yours. The posts here are called Freedom of Speech. I am "entitled" to my opinions as you are. I was "forced" to change my log-in name by the Herald already (couldn't log-in no more with my old user ID). You see all four had the letter "D". Further more, I don't have a clue as to who you are and really don't care. Keep on the topic of the wildlife violators or you yourself be banned from your Constitutional right to voice your opinion.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012 | Report this

After speaking with the editor for the Herald this morning, I have asked her to remove all of my posts. This has gotten completely off topic, and out of control. These comments are affecting our family and friends, and I would appreciate them being removed. Our family has bigger things to think about than some lonely old man that has nothing better to do.

Thank you. Kimberlee Keith

Wednesday, March 14, 2012 | Report this

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