April 18, 2013

From PrairieStateOutdoors.com

Galesburg Register Mail and The Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois’ Department of Natural Resources is heralding the conviction of three hunters in what it describes as one of the state’s biggest deer-poaching cases.

The three were arrested in 2011 on suspicion of poaching two dozen deer. All have now pleaded guilty.

Most recently, 46-year-old Christopher Kiernan of Minooka (mi-NUUK’-uh) pleaded guilty on April 5 in a Grundy County court to multiple charges.

On April 5, Kiernan pleaded guilty in Grundy County to unlawfully taking four deer — including the 36-point buck — and three counts of hunting without permission. Kiernan was ordered to pay $10,000 in restitution to the IDNR and fined $840. He also was banned from hunting for two years.

Larry S. Smith, 50, Chesterfield, Ontario, pleaded guilty in Sangamon County to falsifying hunter harvest records and was fined $800. In Grundy County, he was ordered to pay $2,000 in restitution and fined $300 after pleading guilty to hunting without permission and illegal possession of a 16-point buck. The court also ordered he could not hunt in Illinois for two years.
IDNR further suspended his hunting privileges for 25 months.

Finally, 32-year-old Garrett L. Armstrong, of Avon, NY, pleaded guilty in Sangamon and Grundy counties to illegally taking two deer, three counts of hunting without permission and falsifying hunter harvest records. He was ordered to pay $5,000 in restitution and fined $625. He also cannot hunt for
24 months and had a 58-month suspension imposed on his hunting privileges.

In a related case, Abingdon taxidermist Chad M. Johnson, 39, pleaded guilty in January to three counts of failure to maintain complete taxidermy records and failure to report harvest of a 10-point buck.

Johnson was fined $1,000 and forfeited the buck to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. A suspension of his taxidermy license is pending with the IDNR.

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