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Old March 10, 2010, 08:36 PM   #1
Nydhog502
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Fiance's Dad facing Felony Hunting Charge

This takes place in Inidana.
Okay so here is the scoop:
My fiancé's dad was out hunting. He had tags for himself. He had seen a big deer earlier in the week. While out hunting, he spotted a smaller deer then the describe "Hulk Deer". He killed said smaller deer around 6am. Well, genius decided not to use a tag for the smaller deer he killed. He was "Saving the tag for the big deer he had seen and expected to see again".

He has his wife go buy a deer tag at noon. He marks the kill down at 6am, which is obviously 6 hours PRIOR to the tag being bought. The game warden (who knows him on a friendly basis, being its a small town) shows up at his house and gets him to admit it was him. He expects a fine and a possible misdemeanor count.

Today he went to court for what turned out to be a preliminary hearing. They told him they are going to go for a $1000 dollar fine and maybe even up 180 days in jail. They said it's a felony court case.

My question is, what are they trying him as? Are they trying to nail him for poaching? I'm not excusing his actions because he was and idiot for doing it. but it's a little over the top to go for this kind of sentence for this in a town that my Desert Eagles range exceeds the city limits length lol.

Anyone have any statutes/advice/answers regarding this? The lawyer they are getting is a complete putz and couldn't find a law to save his life. Any help would be great.

Also I just felt like sharing this story because I find it pretty funny he got nabbed for doing this. Apparently, it's common in their town (I don't live there so I don't know). But either way if he's a felon I'll gladly buy/take his Dragoon and lever action 30-30 from him lol. Might as well keep the guns in the family, right?
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Old March 10, 2010, 08:46 PM   #2
hogdogs
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RE-write time... Poaching is the charge. or something very similar!

The guy goofed...
What do you mean "marks kill down at 6am"?

There are a slough of unwritten rules one must follow to break one written rule! Don't shoot the little buck if you plan to shoot the big bruiser!
Let us know how this plays out...

BTW, yer deagle isn't a fair indicator of city limits measure... Here we have towns with a post office that I could shoot from outskirts to outskirts with my pellet rifle and I won't even have to range compensate by raising the barrel... (under 40 yards) no more lenient than the "cities"...
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Old March 10, 2010, 08:47 PM   #3
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Did not know Poaching deer was a felony.
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Old March 10, 2010, 08:53 PM   #4
nate45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grubbylabs
He has his wife go buy a deer tag at noon. He marks the kill down at 6am, which is obviously 6 hours PRIOR to the tag being bought.
Obviously.

If he went to all the trouble to buy another tag, why didn't he write in 2 p.m. or 6 p.m.?

I know hindsight is 20/20, but come on, put a little thought into what you are doing Pops.
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Old March 10, 2010, 08:57 PM   #5
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I'm not a hunter. So maybe you can 'splain to me why he didn't put Baby Deer on the original tag and send Wife to buy a 2nd tag? Even after the fact, wouldn't he be OK if he marked the right tags? (and didn't shoot Daddy Deer until after the new tag was purchased)

If he'd kept his mouth shut, he might could have claimed he marked the wrong tag by accident -- of course that doesn't explain the 4 or 5 hour delay. (maybe he tracked it for 5 hours...)

180 days in jail doesn't sound like a felony to me. A year-and-a-day sounds like a felony.
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Old March 10, 2010, 08:58 PM   #6
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Poaching is a felony? I'm not sure about that one either. I've got no problem with him being charged to the full extent of the law, but I'm not buying that poaching is a felony.

A little quick google revealed this about two men who killed a Boone and Crocket class deer the day before gun season started in Kentucky and tagged it as if it were killed on opening day.

Quote:
Brown and Gilliam each paid fines and court costs of $409. In addition, Brown received a 30-day jail sentence that was probated for two years. He also forfeited his deer rifle, the mounted deer and was stripped of his hunting privileges for two years. Gilliam lost his hunting privileges for one year.
Needless to say, no mention of felony charges.

If the OP's soon to be father in law is being charged with a felony, there is more to the story.
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Old March 10, 2010, 09:41 PM   #7
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Felony is what I was told. I dunno. Could be more to it haven't heard or he goofed again and told me charge wrong.
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Old March 10, 2010, 09:52 PM   #8
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A year-and-a-day sounds like a felony.
Not really plenty of felons get less than one year if they plead out and in some cases just a fine.
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Old March 10, 2010, 09:52 PM   #9
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Federal land perhaps?
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Old March 10, 2010, 09:57 PM   #10
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Hell, he screwed himself....***? Sorry, but one would think he would have more sense. Greed will get cha everytime
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Old March 10, 2010, 11:00 PM   #11
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Classes of Offences and Penalties
Category Fixed term of Imprisonment Maximum Fine

Murder 55 years 10,000
Class A Felony 30 years 10,000
Class B Felony 10 years 10,000
Class C Felony 4 years 10,000
Class D Felony 1 1/2 years 10,000

Class A Misdemeanor up to 1 year 5,000
Class B Misdemeanor up to 180 days 1,000
Class C Misdemeanor up to 60 days 500


This info is from the Indiana Criminal and Traffic Law Manual. It looks like he is charged with a Class B Misdemeanor, not a felony.
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Old March 10, 2010, 11:26 PM   #12
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With city and state governments strapped for cash, he's viewed as a fresh revenue source.



For his actions he deserves to get financially dinged.....dumb & dumber.
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Old March 11, 2010, 01:48 AM   #13
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As he is caught,if he had a good atitude,and no priors,it may be possible to talk to the DA and arresting officer about a plea.
A deferred prosecution would be sweet,but that might be a path.

I think in Colorado things get real serious.You are particularly in trouble if you poach a trophy class animal here.See Samson's Law.I'm not sure of jail time,but fine is 10,000
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Old March 11, 2010, 02:02 AM   #14
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He needs a lawyer.

He can probably plea down the charges. (Unless he already screwed himself in the hearing, somehow.)

No matter what happens, he needs to understand he'll lose his hunting privileges for several years. (Up to ten, I believe.)

I don't advocate this type of behavior, but...

Again... he needs a lawyer.

As for Brent's comment:
Quote:
BTW, yer deagle isn't a fair indicator of city limits measure... Here we have towns with a post office that I could shoot from outskirts to outskirts with my pellet rifle and I won't even have to range compensate by raising the barrel... (under 40 yards) no more lenient than the "cities"...
I know exactly what you're talking about. Not only have I been (and hunted) your neck of the woods, but there are still plenty of towns around here, that fall into that classification. Some are still literally nothing more than a post office. ...Which is only open for maybe 1 hour a day, since the clerk is also the rural carrier, and out for delivery to the remote ranches.
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Old March 11, 2010, 07:43 AM   #15
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Quote:
With city and state governments strapped for cash, he's viewed as a fresh revenue source.
If you are implying the only reason he was charged is because they need the money, then I think that is wrong.

According to the OP the man admitted he was in the wrong. I get upset when people imply the only reason a certain law was enforced is because "We need the money." There is never any mention of the fact that the individual actually broke a law to begin with.

Maybe if a few more game laws were enforced, we would see better results when we go hunting.

If you were not implying that, then I apologize.
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Old March 11, 2010, 08:50 AM   #16
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Times like these call for lawyers.
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Old March 11, 2010, 08:56 AM   #17
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Much enforcement is left to the discretion and judgment of the officer, that's why they issue warnings-vs-fines. LEO's and Game Officers I've known tell me from time to time they are instructed to write fines to improve the public appearance that they are doing their job. As a tax payer I have no problem with that and support it. What good is a law if there's no teeth in it? Seeing that the offender and officer knew each other informally, not sure we can rule out the possibility.
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Old March 11, 2010, 09:05 AM   #18
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Good! Poaching is poaching! It wrecks it for people like my daughter and I who hunt by the rules! Hope they throw the book at him!
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Old March 11, 2010, 10:17 AM   #19
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Nydhog205,
You posted,
Quote:
he spotted a smaller deer then the describe "Hulk Deer". He killed said smaller deer around 6am. Well, genius decided not to use a tag for the smaller deer he killed. He was "Saving the tag for the big deer he had seen and expected to see again".
From the story I get it that he also did take the large deer and tagged it.
That kind illegal activity is rampant all over. One way MN has tried to stop this is any license purchased after the opening hours of the season is not valid until 24 hours later. In many areas there are bonus or intensive harvest tags that can be purchased at 1/2 price so if one is meat hungry and still wants to hold out for a wall hanger it can be done legally.
Here is a link to one such incident in MN this past deer season. I do not see this charge in the court records yet so do not know what the actual charge is.
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Old March 11, 2010, 04:52 PM   #20
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He never saw the Hulk Deer again actually.
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Old March 11, 2010, 05:00 PM   #21
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First off, I'm sad your father in law got himself into this situation. I am a retired Illinois Conservation Police officer and have seen violations like this many times in my career. I am also an avid deer hunter and choose to hunt within the law. I doubt that the charges in Indiana are at the felony level but they could be. If your father in law is charged with a felony he should get a good lawyer. Felony charges will have a long term effect on his life.
As a sportsman I feel that by killing a deer outside the law, he has STOLEN that animal from the rest of us hunters that choose to obey the law. A quality hunt for a large buck may be valued at $5000 to $10,000. If a thief stole something valued at $5000 to $10,000 from your father in law I'm sure he would want the thief prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Just an opinion from an old game warden.
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Old March 11, 2010, 05:07 PM   #22
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I am pretty sure you can add falsifying legal documents to the charge.
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Old March 11, 2010, 05:49 PM   #23
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That is true. Technically it is falsifying legal documents. And I agree with you Dave. Believe me, I hate seeing it happen but I wanna see the law actually followed small town or not.
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Old March 11, 2010, 06:17 PM   #24
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From a legal standpoint, and based on the OP's description of what happened...

he didn't technically "poach" the deer. When he shot the deer, he had a legal tag in his pocket and the season was open.

What he did was:

1. Fail to tag it immediately after the kill.
2. Bought and used a tag under fraudulent circumstances, since it was his wife's tag, and he himself killed the deer, and had killed it before his wife bought the tag.

So he's likely charged with fraudulent use of a tag (or whatever that state calls it). I don't know if it's a felony or not, but it may fall along the lines of "perjury" or some such where his wife signed the tag, and he'd already filled it.

And if he's not careful, he may bring his wife into it with some sort of conspiracy charge.

He needs a good lawyer.

Daryl

Edited to add: Sorry, should have read the entire thread before posing. Looks like someone else already posted the same thoughts I had.
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Old March 11, 2010, 06:20 PM   #25
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I do not think it's a felony. I think they may be trying to make a felony. I heard PA is trying to make poaching a felony.
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