Poacher Fined $6,000 & Jailed

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A Detroit Lakes man has plead guilty to poaching charges in Becker County District Court.

Minnesota conservation officers ticketed Walter David Draack, 30, last October with three gross misdemeanors after a search warrant was served. Draack admitted to illegally spearing a muskie, taking deer over the limit and shooting a 500 pound black bear without the required game tag.

Draack pled guilty Sept. 6 to all three counts, paid $5,100 in restitution, was sentenced 365 days in jail (320 days stayed), was fined $3,000 plus court costs ($2,000 stayed). He was placed on two years probation with condition that he doesn't hunt or fish anywhere in the world for two years. He lost his hunting and fishing licenses for five years in Minnesota and the other 17 states that comprise the Wildlife Violator Compact for five years. Compact states include Minnesota, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. Draack will be immediately remanded to jail and serve the entire sentence if he violates any provisions of his probation.

Draack's father, Walter Robert Draack, 57, Frazee, was also charged in the incident and pled guilty to three misdemeanor counts of possessing an untagged gill net, possessing ducks taken illegally and possessing untagged waterfowl. He was fined $500.

"A CO has only one set of eyes," said State Conservation Officer Chris Vinton of Detroit Lakes. "I cover 650 square miles. If the public out here is concerned about natural resources, every person is another set of eyes that can help catch those violating the law."

Anyone witnessing a wildlife violation is encouraged to contact the nearest conservation officer or call the toll-free Turn In Poachers hotline at 1-800-652-9093.