Nelson County, Kentucky Man Charged With 88 Counts Of Deer-related Violations

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A Nelson County man is facing multiple wildlife violations in an ongoing investigation by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.

Kevin Barnette, 43, of Bardstown, is facing 88 counts of illegally taking or possessing deer or their antlers. Eighty-five of the charges are related to possessing illegal antlers. He also is charged with one count of killing over the limit of antlered deer during the current deer season.

The final charges include failure to fill out a harvest log and failure to Telecheck a harvested deer. Under Kentucky law, all deer hunters must register or "check" their harvested animal by telephone or online at the department's website.

Each charge carries maximum possible penalty of a $1,000 fine, loss of seized firearms and deer, and loss of hunting privileges for three years.

Conservation Officers Steve Nelson, Jeffrey Jewell, Brandon Boone and Sgt. David Kuhn responded on Dec. 4 to a complaint by a concerned citizen that Barnette had taken an antlered deer, disposed of the carcass and then took a second buck on the following day.

The officers served two summonses on Barnette, charging him with taking deer over the limit, failure to log the deer and failure to Telecheck. The second summons charged him with illegally possessing another deer.

Their searched produced 84 additional sets of antlers that appeared to be possessed illegally. The officers returned with a third summons on Dec. 10, citing Barnette with another 84 counts of illegal possession.

Kentucky Fish and Wildlife officers seized 85 illegal deer racks and a Ruger M77 .300-magnum rifle.

Barnette is scheduled to appear in Nelson County District Court Dec. 27.

Anyone with information about wildlife violations may call the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife poacher prevention hotline 1-800-25-ALERT. The number is staffed 24 hours a day. Concerned citizens may also contact their local conservation officer directly. Contact numbers for conservation officers can be obtained by calling the hotline.