Illinois resident Christopher Kiernan, 46, made headlines when he bagged a behemoth 36-point whitetail non-typical that scored 261 5/8 from measurers. His 2009 bow-and-arrow catch easily won the state record, but that was when the trouble started. Along with Larry Smith of Ontario and Garrett Armstrong of New York, Keirnan faced charges following an intensive 11-month investigation by multiple agencies.
According to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the three poached an estimated 24 deer in Illinois and Canada over a 10-year period. Charges filed against the men included hunting without permission of landowners, invalid permits, unlawfully taking deer, falsifying harvest records, and not reporting taken deer.
“Conservation Police officers take seriously incidents of poaching and violations of the Wildlife Code and related offenses in the state, and these convictions made clear that we will bring violators to justice,” said DNR Conservation Police Chief Rafael Gutierrez. “Our officers are in the field every day protecting our natural resources and protecting the rights of those who legally enjoy hunting, fishing and other outdoor pursuits.”
Kiernan’s case was the last of the three to be settled when he pled guilty earlier this month in court. For unlawfully taking a 36-, 16- and 11-point deer he was ordered to pay $10,000 in restitution to the DNR, suspension of hunting privileges, and forfeiture of his hunting equipment and trophies in addition to other penalties. The 36-point state record rack was appraised at upwards of $35,000.
Image courtesy Illinois Department of Natural Resources