Three men face illegal hunting charges for taking two dozen deer, including a 36-pointer that could be a new state record.
According to the Morris Daily Herald, Christopher Kiernan, 45, of Minooka, Ill., Larry Smith, 49, of Williamsburg, Ontario, Canada, and Garret Armstrong, 31, of Avon, N.Y., each face multiple charges after taking the deer outside Morris, Ill, following an 11-month investigation by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Office of Law Enforcement, with assistance from various other wildlife agencies.
Grundy County State's Attorney Johnathan Bates told The Associated Press that Kiernan had turned himself in and had already been released on bail.
The investigation focused on the 36-point buck, which scored at 261 5/8 inches and was worth about $35,000. Authorities say Kiernan illegally killed the buck on Nov. 1, 2009.
All three face numerous charges for illegally taking deer for the last two years, the newspaper reported, with Kiernan facing 44 criminal misdemeanor charges related to illegally harvesting deer, hunting on land without owner's permission, falsifying harvest records, and failure to report a kill on the same day as killed and failure to properly tag the deer as required.
Armstrong faces 26 misdemeanor counts, and Smith faces seven.
Bates told the paper that the charges serve as a stern reminder for those with similar intentions.
"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," Bates said.