Iowa DNR Doesn't Mess Around When It Comes To Poaching
How do you earn, and keep, a reputation as a consistent producer of top-end whitetails? By having a sound management program and laws with teeth to prevent poaching.
Welcome to Iowa.
A years-long case involving a giant Iowa whitetail was finally brought to a conclusion recently when Iowa farmer Marvin Clark was made to permanently forfeit the antlers of a buck he claims to have shot in 2012 because it was stuck in a creek bottom with a broken leg.
According to a report in USA Today, Clark said he discovered the buck on his Marion County farm and shot it with a bow because it had a broken leg. He then removed the buck's head before pulling the buck's body from the creek. He then tagged the deer with his landowner tag.
Iowa law requires that all deer must be tagged "before the carcass is moved to be transported by any means from the place where the deer was taken."
The 14-point antlers were seized in November of 2013 by conservation officers with the Iowa DNR as part of an investigation into four Oklahoma men who allegedly had traveled to Iowa to illegally hunt deer without proper nonresident licenses.
Iowa law also requires that all hunters report any killed deer by midnight on the day of the harvest. Clark admits he did not inform the DNR until five days after killing the deer.
The antlers, which sport an awesome drop tine, have an estimated value of between $5,000 and $20,000.
Clark was first charged with a misdemeanor for unlawful possession of a deer. That charge was dismissed by a judge last October. Soon after, prosecutors sought to permanently seize the rack under a state forfeiture law that allows law enforcement to keep items in criminal cases that weren't legally obtained.