Three Charged in Keokuk County Deer Poaching Case
DES MOINES - An investigation into deer poaching complaints that started with two separate tips from concerned citizens ended this week with three southeast Iowa teens facing multiple charges and fines, state natural resource officials said today.
Daniel Waechter, 16, of Sigourney, and Tyler Denny, 17, of Delta, were each charged with hunting without a small game hunting license, failure to have a valid deer hunting license, taking antlered deer with a high-power rifle and attempting to take deer out of season. Waechter was also charged with two counts of abandonment of dead or injured wildlife, while Denny was cited for taking a non-antlered deer with a high-power rifle and abandonment of dead or injured wildlife. A third individual, Sean Sellers, 18, was cited for one count of over limit of whitetail deer.
Reports indicate Denny faces $800 in fines and $6,500 in restitution, and officers seized a high-power rifle, two deer racks and processed meat. Waechter faces $800 in fines, $5,000 in restitution and had three deer racks, a high-power rifle, a muzzleloader and a bow and arrow set confiscated. Sellers was issued a $195 citation, faces $1,500 in restitution and had his bow and arrow set seized.
DNR officials will also pursue a three-year suspension of hunting privileges for all three.
The investigation involves the illegal taking of 10 deer-five bucks and five does-between the end of October and the middle of November, including one buck approaching the 150-inch range for antler size. State law allows for enhanced restitution penalties for bucks illegally taken that are considered trophy class. Reports indicated some of the deer had their heads and antlers removed, while some were shot and left untouched. The Reports indicated the activity occurred in the Sigourney and Delta areas in Keokuk County.
"We've had a fair amount of poaching complaints generated from residents, so we'll be focusing quite a bit of our law enforcement efforts in this area," Gould said. "This really underscores how critical tips from the community are in our law enforcement efforts."
Anyone observing a fish and wildlife violation, or suspicious activity associated with fish and wildlife, are encouraged to call the Turn In Poachers hotline at 1-800-532-2020, or submit reports online at www.iowadnr.gov
by clicking on the TIP button. Callers can also contact their local conservation officer, whose names and phone numbers are listed in the current hunting and trapping regulations.
For more information, contact Gould at (641) 660-3441.
TURN IN POACHERS!