By Kyle Campbell Capital News Service LANSING \u2014 Deer poachers might soon be paying big bucks for illegally killing big bucks in the Great Lakes State. A pair of bills in the Senate aim to deter hunters from trespassing on farmland, as well as increasing penalties for poachers who target large-antlered deer by tacking on additional restitution fees. Ypsilanti resident Jim Pryce, president of the Tri County Sportsmen\u2019s League in Saline, authored a resolution for the Michigan United Conservation Clubs (MUCC) that inspired the legislation. \u201cHere in Michigan we have devalued the big bucks,\u201d Pryce said. \u201cRight now it doesn\u2019t matter if you look at a 10-point buck or small buck, the fine is only $1,000 for poaching.\u201d Sens. Phil Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township, and Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba, each introduced one bill. Both bills were reintroduced after dying last year in the Legislature. Fellow Republicans Darwin Booher, Evart, John Proos, St. Joseph, Howard Walker, Traverse City, and Rick Jones, Grand Ledge, co-sponsored both bills to deter poaching and protect the state\u2019s natural resources, Booher said. A farm owner as well as a hunter, Booher said penalties need to be increased on large-game poachers to be an effective deterrent because many large trophy heads can be sold for more than $1,000. \u201cEven so, I don\u2019t know if this bill will stop poaching because the price of these trophy bucks is so high,\u201d he said. \u201cPeople pay thousands just to shoot at a trophy buck.\u201d Dean Molnar, assistant chief of the Department of Natural Resources law enforcement division, could not specify how many instances of poaching occur each year, but he said it\u2019s not abnormal for a group of hunters to target big game animals. That becomes a problem when they kill them out of season or in an unapproved way, Molnar said. \u201cThe fish and game belong to the people, they belong to the state of Michigan,\u201d he said. Booher said the bill to increase fines against trespassing hunters is important because the likelihood of getting a conservation officer dispatched in a timely manner is slim and the prospect of confronting a trespassing hunter is one he finds dangerous. \u201cI don\u2019t want to approach an individual who\u2019s out there with a hunting rifle,\u201d he said. \u201cMost people are concerned with that. In this crazy world, people are shooting other people for no reason.\u201d Pryce also has encountered hunters using farmland illegally. Since he was a child, Pryce has hunted on the same farmer\u2019s land in Superior Township. A few years ago, the farmer granted another hunter permission to use his land, but within the first few days of the season, Pryce discovered the outsider running a hunting guide service on the property without the owner\u2019s consent. \u201cHe was charging these guys $75 a day and not paying the farmer a cent,\u201d he said. The first bill calls for poachers to pay an additional fine based on the buck\u2019s \u201cgross score,\u201d which is calculated by tallying the lengths of all points of the antlers. The final fine would be found using this equation: [(gross score-100) x $1.65]. Drew YoungeDyke, grassroots manager for the MUCC, said the additional fines would be more about paying restitution to the state than assigning a value to a certain sized animal. \u201cThis isn\u2019t about saying trophy bucks are worth more than other deer,\u201d YoungeDyke said. \u201cThe point is that the people who would hunt those bucks would think of it that way.\u201d The trespassing bill would increase fines from $250 for first offenders to $750, with repeat offenders fined up to $1,500 \u2014 an increase of $500 \u2014 on top of a potential 90-day jail-sentence. YoungeDyke said MUCC supports the legislation not only to allow all hunters an equal opportunity at getting large-antlered deer, but also to support conservation. \u201cThey all kind of deal with the same intent and that\u2019s to make sure our game species are being treated right,\u201d YoungeDyke said. \u201cIt\u2019s all part of an effort for hunters policing themselves. You want to make sure the fines are enough of a deterrence.\u201d Jane Finnerty, secretary-treasurer for the Cadillac Sportsman\u2019s Club, said she favors increased penalties because one hunter breaking the law \u201cgives everybody a bad name. \u201cI can\u2019t see anyone that would disagree with this law,\u201d Finnerty said. \u201cI can\u2019t see what the reason would be unless you wanted to break the law and don\u2019t want to get pinched.\u201d Both bills have been referred to the Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Committee.