July 24, 2018

From KCRG.com

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have ended an illegal scheme that was taking white-tailed deer in Iowa.

An investigation that began in 2017 led to a larger investigation into the illegal use of landowner tenant deer tags in Iowa.

The investigation found out of state poachers in Cedar County were performing illegal activity for at least 16 years.

“Thanks to one single tip from the public which led us to the initial investigation and eventually turned into something much greater, we were able to put a stop to years and years of illegal activity,” said Eric Wright, DNR conservation officer.

The investigation found a Michigan family, with three generations of hunters, were poaching deer on a privately-owned Iowa farm without the hunting permits or tags.

Douglas Leo Hebert, age 49, of Indian River, Michigan, his 51-year-old brother, Jeffrey Leo Hebert of Bay City, Michigan, and their 73-year-old father, Leo Frederick Hebert of Bay City, Michigan, illegally hunted through 16 seasons.

While hunting, the landowner from Iowa gave them tags for any deer that were harvested, in exchange for the ability to fish in Michigan.

Wright and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service special agents from Iowa and Michigan found 19 white-tailed deer that were taken illegally, 17 of which were bucks.

The investigation found the Michigan family never purchased or applied for the non-resident hunting privileges in the state of Iowa.

The Michigan-based Hebert family agreed to pay more than $51,000 in fines and forfeit 17 deer mounts, as well as the two compound bows and a crossbow which were used to take the deer in a plea agreement with the Cedar County Attorney’s Office.

The family’s hunting privileges were also suspended for at least three years in Iowa.

Iowa is also a member of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact, which impacts their access to hunting across 46 other states.

The hunting suspension can be held in any of the other member states at the discretion of the authorities in those states.

The Iowans who helped the Michigan poachers were cooperative during the investigation and agreed to pay fines totaling $780.

Per plea agreement, the juveniles were not given any charges.


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