CEDAR COUNTY (WNEM) — Three generations of a Michigan family are accused of poaching trophy-sized deer in Iowa over 16 years.
Douglas Leo Hebert, 49, of Indian River, Michigan, along with his 51-year-old brother, Jeffrey Leo Hebert of Bay City and their 73-year-old father, Leo Frederick Hebert of Bay City, are accused of poaching white-tailed deer on a privately-owned Iowa farm without the required hunting permits or tags.
“Thanks to one single tip from the public which led us to the initial investigation and eventually turned into something much greater, we were able to put a stop to years and years of illegal activity,” said Eric Wright, DNR conservation officer. “Deer hunting is a very popular sport and hobby across our state and we want to ensure that all hunters are doing so fairly and abiding by the law.”
Investigators said the Iowa landowners supplied the men with lodging and tags for any deer they harvested in exchange for fishing opportunities in Michigan.
The arrangements happened over the course of 16 seasons.
Iowa DNR officers said the men took 19 white-tailed deer illegally, 17 of which were bucks. Investigators also found the men never purchased or applied for the required non-resident hunting privileges in the state of Iowa.
The Hebert family reached a plea agreement with the Cedar County Attorney’s Office agreeing to pay more than $51,000 in fines and forfeit 17 deer mounts, two compound bows and a crossbow which were used to hunt the deer.
The men’s hunting privileges in Iowa were suspended for a minimum period of three years.
Charges were also not filed against juveniles in the family as part of the agreement.
The three Iowa residents involved who knowingly aided and abetted the Michigan poachers cooperated fully throughout the investigation and agreed to pay fines totaling $780.
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