More deer hunters are being charged in Iowa with illegally harvesting their kills. Officials with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources say 11 out-of-state hunters were charged in the past week with illegally hunting antlered deer in parts of west and southwest Iowa.
D-N-R District Three Supervisor Mark Sedlmayr says there’s a reason why the number of poachers is on the increase. Sedlmayr says it’s because of “the lure of the antler,” adding, Iowa has world-class bucks and that’s what they’re after. The hunters charged last weekend didn’t have the tags and didn’t use proper methods to conduct a legal hunt. Seven of the hunters were from North Carolina. They were nabbed near Woodbine, in Harrison County, following a week-long surveillance. The men were released after paying more than eight-thousand dollars in fines, and making restitution amounting to 40-thousand dollars in liquidated damages.
A number of rifles, bows, optics equipment and other hunting-related items were seized. Among the charges leveled against them: illegal taking of deer by rifle, killing of antlered deer without a license and using a motor vehicle for hunting. Sedlmayr says they killed the animals for their racks, not the meat.
He says they were “classic poachers,” the only thing they wanted was the heads. They cut and twisted the heads off the carcass and left the body out in the field to rot — about a thousand pounds of meat went to waste. Four Georgia residents were also charged last weekend in connection with a separate hunt near Anita, in Cass County. The men were fined nearly 13-thousand dollars for the unlawful taking and transportation of deer, along with wanton waste of deer and failure to tag.
The D-N-R seized a 2000 Chevrolet pickup, archery equipment and other items. The pickup was returned after they posted nearly 13-thousand dollars bond. Sedlmayr says the charges against the Georgia men resulted from an anonymous tip to the “Turn in Poachers” hotline. He says he hopes others take the time call, as well.
The rewards are offered to tipsters anonymously and can be sent directly to a bank or a friend’s house. The number for the “tip” hotline is 1-800-532-2020.