Property Seized in Western Iowa Hunting Case

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Personal property including two all terrain vehicles (ATVs) and a trailer was seized from five Pennsylvania men on Saturday afternoon by the Iowa DNR.

The group, all from Freeland, Penn., were stopped on Interstate 80 and the U.S. 71 intersection in Cass County and charged with numerous game violations relating to the harvesting of buck deer without having the appropriate tags and for transporting pheasants without leaving the head, wing or leg attached for identification.

Charged were:

* Jonathan Kochie, 28, charged with illegal possession of a deer, illegal transportation of pheasants. Liquidated damages of $5,000 for the harvest of a buck without having the appropriate tags will also be sought.

* Justin Burns, 18, charged with illegal transportation of a deer and illegal transportation of a pheasant.

* James Burns, 43, charged with illegal tagging of some else’s deer and illegal transportation of pheasants.

* John Kochie, 63, charged with illegal transportation pheasants.

* Dale Hemmingsen, 39, charged with hunting without a license.

The violations were alleged to have taken place where the group was camping at Elk Horn Creek Recreation Area in Shelby County. All five were released after posting bond.

In addition to the ATVs and trailer seized, the DNR also seized three antlerless deer tags, one cooler full of deer meat, four pheasants without wings, heads or legs for identification, three deer including two antlered deer heads, one wall tent, three gas cans and a hunting bow.

The investigation of the group was initiated by a call to the Turn In Poachers (TIP) program which prompted a two day surveillance of the camp by DNR officers which ultimately led to the charges being filed.

“It is really important for people to report to us anytime they believe they are witnessing suspicious activity. The information we receive from the public is often times the key leading us to an investigation like this one,” said DNR Conservation Officer Dave Tierney who led the investigation.

“I would encourage anyone to call the TIP Program at 800-532-2020 or their local conservation officer whenever they witness what they believe to be suspicious activity,” Tierney said.

The DNR is continuing its investigation of the group.

For more information, contact Dave Tierney at 712-249-2015 or Kevin Baskins at 515-249-2814.