3 men charged for illegal hunting

Published 10:14 pm Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Three men are charged after they were reportedly found illegally hunting in Oronoko Township Nov. 23

According to Chief Milton Agay of the Berrien Springs Oronoko Township Police Department,  officers responded to the Dan Schultz property, 153 Freehling Rd., at 7:09 p.m. Nov. 23 after neighbors heard gun shots coming from the property at night and knowing no one should be hunting there.

Schultz was contacted and responded as well. Upon his arrival, he found a father and son, Howard Baker Jr., 39, of Buchanan and Howard Baker III, 21, of Galien. Schultz found a shot and dead buck deer near his barn at that time.

BSOPD officers Robert Christner and Ryan Venno working in conjunction with conservation officer Andy Bauer conducted an investigation leading to the arrest of the three subjects.

Upon arrival of the officers, Schultz had stopped the two Bakers, but Robert Parker, 37, of Three Oaks, was hiding in a water filled ditch up to his chest.  The deer that Schultz had originally seen had been dragged away and hid along with the firearms by the time officers arrived.

After talking with Schultz, the area was searched by the officers and the deer was found along with three long guns as was Parker in the ditch.

The two Bakers, who both have a number of felony convictions — having been to prison and Baker III currently on parole — were lodged at the Berrien County Jail.

Parker Jr. is charged with possession of a firearm by a felon; recreational trespassing; and possession of a firearm without a hunting license.

Parker III is charged with possession of a firearm by a felon; recreational trespassing; and violation of parole.

Parker was cited for conservation firearms violation and recreational trespassing and released.

Investigation of the ownership of the firearms is continuing by BSOPD. It was alleged that the firearms were stolen.

The deer was turned over to Schultz.

Both of the Bakers pleaded guilty to the listed charges in Berrien Trial Court in Niles Dec. 3 and are scheduled to be sentenced in January.