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Heartland Outdoors

Clinton, Iowa men guilty of poaching

Wed, December 22, 2010

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.

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Monday night bass tournaments