Illegal Exchange Shut Down: Michigan Fish for Iowa Deer

An Iowa landowner trades deer-hunting rights to a Michigan family for access to a prime fishing hole. Nice idea, except it was illegal.

Illegal Exchange Shut Down: Michigan Fish for Iowa Deer

A Michigan family poached trophy-sized whitetail deer from an Iowa farm for 16 years, according to the Des Moines Register.

" 'The Iowa landowners supplied the (Michigan) family with lodging and tags in exchange for fishing opportunities in Michigan,’ the Iowa Department of Natural Resources said Tuesday,” as reported by the Register.

The poachers reached a plea agreement with Iowa’s Cedar County attorney’s office.

“ 'The Michigan family agreed to pay more than $51,000 in fines and forfeit 17 deer mounts, two compound bows and a crossbow that were used to take the deer,’” DNR officials told the Register.

Meanwhile, the Iowa landowners’ hunting privileges were suspended for at least three years, and the landowners were required to pay fines totaling $780.

They "Were Biting Good"

Photo: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

This next news story doesn’t involve a fish-for-deer exchange, but it does involve a whole lot of fish. The illegal fishing activity took place in Minnesota’s Lake Sisseton. The Kansas City Star published a news report about the crime, but it was also picked up by Fox News for its national audience.

Why a national news story?

Well, one answer is because news can be just about anything in the internet era, but also because these Minnesota anglers landed a whopping 253 crappie. A mere 10 is the legal limit per person.

A citizen saw the fishermen hauling in the crappie (by the hundreds) and tipped off a conservation officer, but the crappie slayers had already left the scene before the officers arrived. Not to worry. The officer tracked down two vehicles belonging to the group and showed up at the anglers’ home.

According to the Kansas City Star, when questioned, one fisherman said he “caught 17 crappies, which they gave to a friend,” and commented the fish “were biting good.”

Ultimately authorities didn’t buy it and discovered the 253 crappie in a freezer. Conservation officers seized 233 fish and allowed the two anglers to keep their legal limit — 10 for each person.


Featured photo: iStock

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