A poacher thought he could pull a fast one with a buck harvest stashed in a freezer for 12 months.
A harvest that many Indiana hunters would consider a deer of a lifetime has been deemed an illegal hunt, as a man has been convicted for a 20-point buck taken in 2016. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources shared the news via press release, and detailed the conviction for the deer that measured more than 200 inches.
The reason it's so noteworthy is the fact that the man, Mark Gill of Holland, Indiana, tried to hide the non-typical buck in his freezer for a year, before attempting to pass it as a buck harvested in the 2017 fall season.
That counts as providing false information to Indiana's deer harvest information system, and resulted in serious penalties. Indiana hunters are only allowed one antlered deer per hunting season.
A plea agreement with the Dubois County prosecutor's office led to a two-year hunting license suspension, 100 hours of community service, 540 days of probation, and $741 in fines. Gill pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors: unlawful taking of a white-tailed deer and providing false information to a check station.
Gill is also stripped of hunting, fishing, and trapping rights in 48 states, thanks to Indiana's involvement in the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact.
Indiana saw success with its TIP (Turn in a Poacher) Program, an anonymous information pathway for folks to provide info about possible wildlife crimes and earn potential cash rewards when it leads to a conviction. Ironically, the program was initiated near where the incident occurred by the Dubois County Sportsman Club in the 1980s.
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