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Minnesota Poacher Banned from Hunting

A poacher banned from hunting will now have to spend autumns out of the field.

A Minnesota man who went on a 17-year poaching spree was sentenced in federal court for violating the Lacey Act, according to Star News.

In October of last year, William Robert Welsh of St. Cloud, 41, pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge of shooting and killing a deer in the closed area of Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge.

RELATED: Washington Poacher Who Beheaded Trophy Bucks Gets 5 Years, $24K

He admitted to sawing off the deer's antlers and transporting them to his home, leaving the rest of the carcass.

The sentence included barring him from hunting big game anywhere in the US for five years. Welsh is also banned from entering Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge for the same time span, and must forfeit his seized firearm and hunting equipment. He's also being forced to forfeit trophy deer mounts and antlers from seven illegally taken deer.

Added to that are two years of probation, 100 hours of community service and a small game hunting ban during that time as well.

Welsh was originally busted thanks to an anonymous tip to the state DNR's Turn-in-Poachers hotline in 2011. That sparked a US Fish & Wildlife investigation, which uncovered a series of poaching spanning several years.
RELATED: Rare White Deer Poached in Iowa [VIDEO]
Before the investigation, Welsh was cited for illegally hunting deer and trespassing in a Minnesota state game refuge.

Do you think Welsh received fair punishment for his crimes?

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Minnesota Poacher Banned from Hunting