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Local hunter faces 41 criminal counts

A Minooka deer hunter is charged in a 41-count criminal complaint with multiple conservation violations, including illegally taking a 36-point whitetail buck in a 2009 poaching incident.

Christopher Gerald Kiernan, 45, of 205 Osage St., Minooka, was charged Friday, Oct. 28, in Grundy County Circuit Court with poaching on Material Service Corporation property at 3450 Southmor Road at Morris, and with taking a 36-point whitetail deer on Nov. 1, 2009.

The complaint also charges Kiernan with illegally taking several other deer at the Material Service site, unlawfully hunting in Grundy County between November 2009 until May 2011, illegally possessing the skull caps and antlers of several deer and having them mounted, and with entering the company's property without permission.

Grundy County State's Attorney John Bates filed the complaint Friday. The charges are all criminal misdemeanors.

"These charges are the culmination of the extraordinary work of Illinois Conservation officers, along with the assistance of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service special agents, conservation officers from the New York Department of Environmental Protection Agency and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources," Bates said. "I commend them for their hard work and determination in this case."

Because the case is pending, he would not comment Tuesday on whether the 36-point buck is among the largest on record in Illinois to date.

A published report in the February 2010 edition of Prairie State Outdoors says a 37-point, whitetail buck was taken by Kiernan with a bow and arrow in Kendall County on Nov. 1, 2009.

The report also notes the "37-point buck" might have set an Illinois record for a non-typical bowkill. The record would not be official until the deer could be scored by a panel in 2011, the report notes, but does not give a specific date.

A Chicago Sun-Times article from Feb. 10, 2010, however, indicates the buck was to be panel reviewed by Pope and Young in March of this year.

Kiernan is charged in the complaint with illegally hunting on Material Service property with bow and arrow, even though he did not have a deer archery permit.

Count 3 of the complaint charges Kiernan with unlawfully taking the 36-point deer in 2009. Count 4 cites him with unlawfully possessing the ear tags from a 36-point deer on April 19 of this year.

Another count charges Kiernan with illegally killing an 11-point whitetail deer at the same location on Nov. 8, 2009. Count 8 alleges Kiernan possessed a set of 11-point whitetail deer antlers on April 20 of this year.

Count 15 claims Kiernan illegally killed a 10-point whitetail deer on Material Service property on Nov. 7, 2009, and failed to tag the animal.

Count 20 charges Kiernan with illegally killing a 16-point whitetail deer at the same site on Nov. 13, 2009.

In Count 22, Kiernan is charged with possessing the skull cap and antlers of an 11-point deer at 205 Osage Street on April 20 of this year.

Counts 23 through 27 charge Kiernan with illegal possession of an 11-point deer mount at his home on May 11, 2011, plus the mount of a 10-point deer and a 13-point deer, and the skull and antlers of an 8-point deer.

Counts 28 to 32 allege Kiernan illegally possessed the skull cap and antlers of a 12-point deer at 205 Osage St., on April 20, 2011, plus that of a 7-point and 11-point deer, along with the skull cap and mount of a 17-point deer.

Counts 33 and 34 charge Kiernan with illegally possessing the mount of two 10-point deer on Aug. 4 of this year.

Count 35 claims Kiernan illegally possessed the skull cap and antlers of a 9-point deer at 205 Osage St., on April 20, 2011.

Lastly, counts 36 through 41 charge Kiernan with hunting on Material Service property on Southmor Road on Nov. 6, Nov. 7, Nov. 8, Nov. 9, and Nov. 12 of 2010, and on Nov. 7, 2009.

Also filed by Bates on Friday, Oct. 28, are two more illegal hunting lawsuits naming a Canadian and a New York state resident.

Larry Smith, 49, of Williamsburg, Ontario, is charged in a five-count criminal misdemeanor complaint with illegally hunting and illegally taking a 16-point whitetail deer on the Material Service property on Southmor Road on Nov. 13, 2009.

Garrett L. Armstrong, 31, of Avon, New York, is named in a 24-count criminal misdemeanor complaint with hunting and taking deer in the Material Service property, starting in November of 2009.

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