Former reality TV personality faces 10 poaching charges in Michigan

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) – A former reality TV personality faces 10 charges related to illegal deer hunting in Kalamazoo County.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources said 55-year-old Scott Meisterheim was charged earlier this month with three counts of transporting/possessing antlered white-tailed deer, two counts exceeding the white-tail deer limit and two counts of using a different hunting license one person, two counts of hunting white-tailed deer without a license and one count of catching a white-tailed deer outside of legal hunting seasons.

Meisterheim rose to fame after appearing in three seasons of Discovery Channel’s Bering Sea Gold — a show that followed groups of dredgers prospecting for gold in the deep waters of Alaska.

A DNR spokesman said conservation officials were alerted last February to Meisterheim’s alleged illegal activities between October and December 2021.

Investigators found evidence that suggested Meisterheim had captured at least 11 deer between early October and Christmas Eve 2021, including three he claimed were killed in the first week of archery season. However, two of these deer were rejected by a processor because they were “spoiled”.

Investigators allege that Meisterheim hunted without a license, used illegal bait and used deer tags procured from others. He is also accused of hunting without a permit on several properties in Kalamazoo and Van Buren counties.

“This is an excellent investigation of a poacher who shows no respect for the resource or the ethics of fair hunting,” said Dave Shaw, head of the DNR Law Enforcement Division, in a press release. “Violations of this nature deprive law-abiding people of their ability to access a natural resource subject to public trust.”

Speaking to Meisterheim at Kalamazoo County Jail, where he was then being held on charges of domestic violence, a conservation officer reportedly admitted that he’s “not the most ethical hunter … but I don’t care. I am addicted to venison.”

“Sure, I love killing deer,” Meisterheim also told the official. “If I could kill more, I would, to be honest.”

When asked why he owned so many deer, the suspect told DNR investigators that “injured deer would stumble to his hunting ground and die nearby.”

Meisterheim, who is currently serving an 18-month suspended sentence for aggravated domestic assault, is scheduled to stand trial again in February on poaching charges. Former reality TV personality faces 10 poaching charges in Michigan

Dais Johnston

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