Four men from Louisiana are facing 76 charges for allegedly poaching deer in southwest Iowa last November. Iowa Department of Natural Resources conservation officer, Dan Mork, says the case got started with a call to the “Turn in Poachers” or “TIP” line in Kansas.
He says it was a very vague call about some people who may’ve been doing some illegal activity in Kansas, and at the same time there as a similar call in Iowa. “Kansas was good enough to call Iowa and between the two vague TIP calls, we started an investigation,” Mork explains.
The investigation, which included the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Louisiana Department of Game and Fish, lasted 10 months. Monk says they determined the Louisiana men were working construction when they decided they wanted to take home a trophy buck.
“They did not have any licenses at all in Iowa, none whatsoever. And in Iowa it’s kind of a relished thing for a non-resident to get an Iowa buck tag. You just can’t come up here and get one every year, you have to put in for a lottery for them,” Mork says. “These gentlemen just came up here and took them without any tags at all.”
Forty-one-year-old James Keith Moore of Hammond, Louisiana and Michael Fralick of Ponchatoula, Louisiana were each charged with 32 counts of deer-related violations in four southwest Iowa counties. They were each fined over $6,000 and the state is seeking $25,000 in civil damages.
Forty-six-year-old Stanley Russell of Roseland, Louisiana and 39-year-old William Chambliss of Kentwood, Louisiana, were each charged with six counts of deer-related violations in Montgomery County. They were each fined just over $1,800 and the state is seeking $10,000 in civil damages from each man.
The allegedly illegally killed five deer. Mork says the poacher hotline worked just like it should. “It was just very little information, somebody that did not think something looked right, or seemed right with these individuals, took notice and gave tipline a call, and it turned out very well,” Mork says.
The state is also requesting that the men forfeit the four rifles they used to shoot the deer. A court date for the men is expected to be set for sometime in November.