STACY LANGLEY , The Huron Daily Tribune
BAD AXE - A Huron County hunter is facing jail time along with fines
and possibly losing his hunting rights for the coming hunting season and
three additional years after he pled no contest to a number of hunting
violations this week.
A trial was scheduled for Tuesday in Huron County District Court to
hear evidence in the prosecution's case against Rodney G. Koglin, 40, of
But on Monday, in a plea agreement with the Huron County Prosecutor's
Office, Koglin pled no contest to four of the five misdemeanor charges
he was facing.
Koglin pled no contest to three counts of taking more than two deer
during the season. At the time of sentencing on April 5, District Court
Judge Karl E. Kraus could sentence him to 5 to 90 days in jail, fines of
$200 to $1,000 per charge, the cost of prosecution, $1,000 for each of
the deer and revocation of Koglin's hunting license for a number of
Koglin also pled no contest to a fourth count of allowing his then
minor son to hunt without an adult. That charge carries a possible
sentence of 90 days in jail and/or a $25 to $250 fine, cost of
prosecution, and the revocation of his hunting license for the remainder
of this year and additional years to be determined by the court.
A fifth misdemeanor charge of unlawful use of tags for the firearm
deer hunting season is to be dismissed at the time of sentencing.
Huron County Prosecutor Mark J. Gaertner credited the Department of
Natural Resources for doing a "remarkable job" investigating the
complaints his office received concerning Koglin.
"These conservation officers, (Robert Hobkirk and T. Scott Brown) put
a ton of time into investigating this and used a number of resources -
even using DNA to matching antlers with the deer's capes," Gaertner
said. "This case is so significant because it fits a pattern of behavior
by Rodney Koglin over a number of years, and based on that pattern of
past behavior, activity and information that has been provided to me, I
don't believe I've come across a person that has been involved to this
"When you look at the large number of trophy racks that he had just
during the 2004 hunting season it raises a number of questions. And even
though these are misdemeanor counts he pled to, it sends a message and
has an impact on other hunters and farmers who have come into contact
Hobkirk and Brown searched an area taxidermist and seized a number of
hides, antlers from six 8- to 10-point bucks and even a bullet belonging
to Koglin during their investigation. They also searched Koglin's home
and found what Huron County Prosecutors described as "42 sizable mounted
dear heads and antler plaques."
Koglin's attorney David B. Herrington said "this case began and ended
on rumor and gossip. And based on that rumor and gossip, the DNR pursued
Mr. Koglin with a vengeance.
"He ultimately entered a plea to some technical DNR violations. As a
tax payer I am concerned about the thousands and thousands of dollars
and hundreds of hours spent on the original investigation that produced
The original complaint Herrington said DNR officers received was a
claim that involved the killing of a specific trophy buck.
"They executed a search warrant, interrogated his wife and two
children, one of which was at school at the time," he said. "This one
particular alleged incident was never charged. The DNR sent bullet and
animal specimens in for DNA and ballistics testing that yielded no
evidence. They alleged some deer tagging violations that Koglin
ultimately pled no contest to. He did purchase the permits."
Herrington said his client pled no contest only after being
threatened with a possible a felony conspiracy charge with his two sons.
"Until then he had intended to make the DNR prove their case. He
decided that his best course of action was to enter a plea of no contest
rather than expend substantial personal resources and time on the
threatened felony charge," Herrington said. "Mr. Koglin has yet to be
sentenced, and I am confident that he will get a fair sentence. He has
no previous criminal record including any hunting violation
Koglin is scheduled for sentencing on April 5 in Huron County