Conservation officers from the Department of Natural Resources say it wasn't hunting, it was more like a slaughter of nearly 60 ducks by four poachers in Ottawa County Sunday, Oct. 9.

They say someone called their poacher tip line reporting a lot of rapid gunfire in Chester Township, not the intermittent, sporadic shooting you expect to hear in duck season.

Officers who responded say they discovered the four poachers gathering up 58 dead birds, all taken illegally because they used bait to lure the ducks into the range of their guns.

“They were just out there for one purpose,” says Conservation Officer David Rodgers. “It was to kill a lot of birds. That’s slaughter.

"It had nothing to do with hunting at all.”

Conservation officers say the four poaching suspects are from the Coopersville area and they didn’t show much remorse. Their expensive guns and the ducks they killed were confiscated. They face fines, restitution charges for each dead bird and loss of hunting privileges, probably for years.

“They got greedy and ended up shooting way over the limit,” observes duck hunter Logan Wilcox. “They are not just breaking the law, they are taking the opportunity away from other hunters that possibly could have shot those birds and had a great story for their kids or family members. It’s just kind of offensive.”