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Illinois deer hunting: More on Kiernan buck

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The thing about Chris Kiernan and the charges against is not only the black eye it gives hunting but the sense of betrayal people like myself and others who interacted with him feel.


I am not alone in that. Apparently, he fooled more than just me.

Kiernan was charged Friday in Grundy County with multiple poaching charges, largely stemming from his arrowing one of the biggest nontypical white-tailed bucks taken by a hunter in Illinois.

After writing about hundreds of big fish and big bucks, I have a pretty good b.s. detector with stories about big catches or big bucks. My b.s. detector isn't perfect, but it's close.

That's the part about the charges against Kiernan I have such a hard time with. My b.s. detector didn't go off at all when I talked and corresponded with him about his 36-point buck. I wasn't alone in that. Others felt the same way. But keep in mind, truly we have to wait for his case to go through the courts for final assessment.

After my interactions with him, I would have held Kiernan up as an example of how you handle a big buck. Many big buck stories go the route of checkbook journalism, so if you ever wonder why some big buck stories don't get published in Sun-Times outdoors, that is why.

But Kiernan seemed different. When I finally caught up with him, he was straightforward, even sending a photo. My thought was this is an example of how you handle shooting or arrowing a big buck.

In the end, no matter what the outcome of the case against Kiernan, hunting is besmirched, and one of the great nontypical bucks in modern Illinois is forever stained.

Not good.

Here's the word from the IDNR, and thanks to their staff for the photo above that gives credit to a tremendous buck, which it deserves:

IDNR Conservation Police Make Arrests in Deer Poaching Case

Giant buck valued at $35,000

SPRINGFIELD, IL - Charges have been filed against three individuals after an 11-month investigation by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Office of Law Enforcement in a deer poaching case. The three men were cited for numerous Wildlife Code violations including the illegal take of a potential state-record whitetail deer, and now face charges through the Grundy County State's Attorney's Office and the Sangamon County State's Attorneys Office.

"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 investigation focused on the unlawful harvest of a 36-point non-typical deer scoring 261 5/8 and valued at $35,000. Charges were filed after a thorough investigation with assistance from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Alberta Sustainable Resources Department, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Missouri Department of Conservation, and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

The following individuals were cited on charges related to unlawfully taking a total of 24 deer in Illinois and Canada over a 10-year period. Specific charges were filed as follows:

Christopher Kiernan (age 45, of Minooka, IL)
11 counts of hunting without permission of landowner and being an accessory to the charge
19 counts of unlawful possession of illegally taken deer
5 counts of hunting with invalidated permit
5 counts of unlawfully taking of deer
2 counts of falsifying harvest records
1 count each of: Failure to report harvest on the same day as killed, Fail to tag deer as required

Garret Armstrong (age 31, of Avon, NY)
9 counts of hunting without permission of landowner and being an accessory to the charge
8 counts of hunting with an invalidated permit
4 counts of unlawful possession of illegally taken deer
2 counts of unlawfully taking of deer
1 count each: Failure to tag deer as required,
Failure to report harvest as required
Falsifying harvest record

Larry Smith (age 49, of Williamsburg, Ontario, Canada)
1 count each of the following:
Hunting without permission of landowner
Hunting with invalidated permit
Failure to tag deer as required
Unlawful possession of illegally taken deer
Unlawfully taking of deer
Failure to report harvest as required
Falsifying harvest record

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There is something about government surveillance and "Zero Tolerance" that is much, much uglier than (allegedly) poaching a deer.

On a broader level, I absolutely agree Shalom. Those are far bigger concerns. But this is a Web log about Chicago outdoors and so this alledged poaching ranks pretty high.

What bothers me about this he took this deer on property without permission, not only have they written him a ticket for that, but they also wrote him a ticket for every deer he had taken in the last 10 years. not only that, but they wrote his partners tickets for being an accessory for everything he did.
For any officer to be able to write 27 tickets for one even is crazy.
Yes, the guy needs to be charged for hunting without permission, but not all the other bs he was written for.
same principle applies if you are caught speeding 70 in a 55, and the officer finds out you been driving here daiiyl and writes you 360 other tickets for the last year.

I think this is an over abuse of the powers of law enforcement. The guy needs a ticket, he does not need to be executed.

If this would have been an average buck, the hunter would have been issued a trespassing ticket and a nominal fine would be paid. I have followed this story and it sounds like the Deer was harvested with fair chase during the season on unprotected property. I would like to see the money IDNR spent to prosecute the three hunters. How can a state that is in the financial dog house justify this? As for the other counts how many hunters have had a late night retrieving deer and reported the harvest the next day. Come on guys, this hunter is a trespasser not public enemy number one. To this hunter it appears that the Grundy county agents have an ax to grind. Could it be they were hunting this deer also?

Your BS detector didnt go off because you were a willing participant in the unfortunate evolvement of 21st century culture of hunting & fishing, where ego and braggadocia is more important than the sport and thrill of hunting and fishing. And, people like you are willing to stroke the egos of idiots like Kiernan to be a part of that "clicky" group.

Go ahead and deny it, but when you are alone, left to your own thoughts, you will agree. Todays "outdoorsman" culture and fraternity are populated with egos, which drives fibbery and law-breaking. if you still disagree, then rely on the evidence of this case that this guy is/was an outdoor columnist who cheated.

i have yet to find a story on the exact evidence they had on this guy. I agree with most here that if he illegally took the record buck then fine him. There seems to be alot of counts here and I am extremely skeptical on how evidence could have possibly been uncovered and proven. Did they have him under surveillance? It is almost to scary to fathom. Our tax money at work. I think he was just a target because of his reputation and record breaking buck. If he was a nobody, i bet they would have nothing on him. They would probably not even have bothered.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on November 2, 2011 4:54 PM.

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