Poachers Caught With 52 Deer
Five Decatur County men were cited with 49 charges of illegally taking deer with liquidated damages totaling nearly $150,000. The charges were filed after a four month long investigation by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
The charges were filed against Justin Mason, 27, from rural Leon, Jake Mason, 24, from Woodland, Mike Mason, 46, from Woodland, Ron Carney, 32, from Garden Grove and Steve Powell, 48, from Woodland.
“This is the largest number of illegal deer I have seized from one group of individuals in my 26 plus years as a game warden,” said Craig Roberg, conservation officer with the DNR. “I do not consider these men hunters. One of these men killed as many as 14 bucks this fall alone. They were only out to kill animals and in most cases left the meat out in the field to rot. This case would not have been made without the cooperation of local landowners and sportsmen.”
The DNR found 52 deer heads with antlers or skull plates with antlers. The charges include illegal possession of deer, illegal taking of deer, illegal transportation of deer, wanton waste of deer, loaded rifle in a vehicle on a public roadway and shooting a rifle from the roadway. Carney has pleaded guilty to taking a deer with a rifle and wanton waste of deer. All other defendants have pleaded not guilty to the remaining charges.
Roberg said as many as 17 of the deer were taken since August 2004. The charges were based on the deer taken over the past two years.