Arrests made in Illinois deer poaching case

Giant buck valued at $35,000 / IDNR

Illinois Department of Natural Resources announced Wednesday that charges have been filed against three men after an 11-month investigation in a deer poaching case.

Christopher Kiernan, 45, of Minooka, Illinois; Garret Armstrong, 31, of Avon, NY; and Larry Smith, 49, of Williamsburg, Ontario Canada face charges ranging from "hunting without permission of land owner" to "unlawful possession of illegally taken deer" and many more charges.

Click here to read the entire press release.

The biggest surprise in this unfolding story is that the men are charged with harvesting a 36-point non-typical deer scoring 261 5/8. The deer is valued at $35,000.

Our Conservation Police Officers are tasked with the mission of protecting the public and our natural resources and they do it effectively and vigilantly, said IDNR Director Marc Miller. I am proud of the hard work of the IDNR law enforcement staff and have a warning to those who choose to hunt illegally: We are watching.

The IDNR Office of Law Enforcement has zero tolerance when it comes to poaching matters, said IDNR Conservation Police Chief Rafael Gutierrez. Our Conservation Police will continue to protect our natural resources so that legal sportsmen get every opportunity they deserve.

The pending charges are related to the unlawful taking of 24 deer in Illinois and Canada over a 10-year period.

The Humane Society of America is an wildlife advocate that encourages public awareness of poaching. On the HSUS website, they offer some suggestions:

- Going hiking of bird watching? Know your state's wildlife regulations and hunting seasons so you can identify violations.- If you see suspicious activity, don't confront anyone.- Get a description of the poacher, the vehicle and the surrounding area.- Call your state wildlife department immediately.

(Information taken from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and The Humane Society of America.)

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