One pleads guilty in Traverse City poaching ring

Zachary Johnson pled guilty today to a misdemeanor charge.

Three Traverse City Area men are facing charges after it was discovered that several animals had been poached and mutilated.

One of the men, Zachary Johnson, pled guilty today to a misdemeanor charge.

According to court records, Johnson rode along as the two other men shined and shot the animals.

The other men are David Walston and Daniel Kelsey. They have yet to be charged.

Investigators say the men shot several deer and bear.

The killings happened in Grand Traverse, Leelanau and Benzie counties.

The DNR calls the crimes "disturbing."

"This is one of a more grievous type of case where they're just actually shooting, I believe, for recreation," said DNR Law Enforcement officer, Lt. David Shaw. "It seemed to be one of the worst types of poaching rings where it was not really for a purpose for meat or to give to other people but more for recreation."

Lt. Shaw said the men took trophies from the animals.