Two northeast Iowa men pleaded guilty to poaching trophy deer in November near Preston and Sabula.
Ross Niles, 26, of Clinton, and Eric Thompson, 32, of Clinton, both pleaded guilty to two counts of unlawful taking of a deer, two counts of unlawful possession of deer, no valid hunting license, no valid deer license, failure to validate deer license, failure to confirm harvest and possession of another hunter’s deer tag. Niles and Thompson were ordered to pay $3,000 in liquidated damages.
Andrew Keil, state conservation officer for Dubuque and Jackson counties for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, said the poaching investigation began after a traffic stop near Green Island on Nov. 17.
Keil said evidence found during the traffic stop and in subsequent interviews confirmed that Niles and Thompson had poached trophy deer. He said the investigation led officers to an Illinois taxidermist, where Illinois conservation police seized two bucks, including one with a gross score of 171 inches.
Iowa officers are investigating another allegedly illegally killed trophy buck linked to Niles and Thompson, and more charges are expected.
The DNR seized a Matthews bow and arrows, a Rock River AR-15 with Leupold scope, deer meat, hides and racks.
Missouri’s Conservation Commission has approved the following hunting dates for 2011.
Youth Spring Turkey - April 9 and 10.
Spring Turkey - April 18 through May 8.
Fall Firearms Turkey - Oct. 1 through 31.
Opening Day of November Portion of Firearms Deer Season - Nov. 12.
Activities include naturalist and storyteller John Tierney relating some eastern Kentucky legends, including the real story of the Hatfield/McCoy feud.
Here’s the schedule:
6 p.m. — Fishing Fun. Equipment provided. Location: Meet at the boat dock. All ages are welcome, but children younger than 12 must be accompanied by an adult, and those 16 and older must have a valid Kentucky fishing license to fish. Free.
4 p.m. — Tissue Paper Flowers. Make a beautiful bouquet with tissue paper. Location: Campground Shelter. Ages 7-adult. Free.
11 a.m. — “Snakes Alive!” Paint your own articulated snake. Location: Campground Shelter. All ages. Cost: $1 per snake.
4 p.m. — Leaf Printing. Pound away your frustrations while you learn about the variety of trees that thrive in the campground, and take home a print that you might want to frame. Location: Campground Shelter. All ages. Free.
6 p.m. — “The Great Vendetta: The Hatfield-McCoy Feud.” Arguably, the most famous and bitter family feud, waged between the Kentucky McCoys and the West Virginia Hatfields, this feud spurred deep disputes in the late 1800s between two states before eventually going before the Supreme Court.
Transport yourself to post-Civil War Appalachia with storyteller John Tierney. Location: Campground Shelter. All ages. Free.