Four Louisiana men were found guilty of poaching Iowa deer from a case that started when someone made a call to the Turn in Poachers hotline.
The investigation began in late November 2011 when the Kansas Wildlife and Parks Department received a TIP call from a concerned citizen about the activities of these men. The information led authorities to possible illegal activity in Iowa. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources received a TIP call about illegal deer activity around the same time that linked the two cases together.
“These men came to Iowa specifically to road hunt trophy bucks during the rut,” said Deb Howe, state conservation officer for the Iowa DNR. “They did not have any licenses or tags to hunt in Iowa during the time they were here.”
Michael Fralick, of Ponchatoula, La., was convicted on all 32 counts of deer hunting violations in four southwest Iowa counties. Fralick was assessed $6,123.90 in fines and court costs, forfeited two rifles and received a five year license suspension. He was ordered to pay $22,500 in civil damages.
James Moore, of Ponchatoula, La., pleaded guilty to discharge firearm from roadway, having a loaded gun in vehicle, failure to tag deer, illegal method of take in Adams County, Iowa, and was fined $604.50. He also pleaded guilty to two counts unlawful transportation/possession of whitetail deer, no valid non-resident hunting license, no valid non-resident any-sex deer license, no habitat fee, illegal method of take in Montgomery County, Iowa, and was assessed $1,688.50 total fines and court costs. Moore received a five year license suspension and was ordered to pay $10,000 in civil damages.
Moore was in possession of an illegal deer in Oklahoma when he was served with the Iowa citations by officials in Oklahoma.
Stanley Russel, of Roseland La., and William “Heath” Chambliss, of Kentwood, La., were both found guilty in Montgomery County, Iowa, of no valid non-resident hunting license, no valid non-resident any sex deer license, no valid non-resident antlerless deer license (required) and no habitat fee. Their fines and court costs totaled $1,433.40 each and they received a two year license suspension.
The four men pleaded guilty to various wildlife crimes in Kansas as well.
These convictions were the result of a 10 month investigation by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Bureau, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Louisiana Department of Game & Fish, the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, and the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.
Information received through the TIP hotline in both Iowa and Kansas was critical in this investigation. If you have information on wildlife crimes please call TIP of Iowa at 1-800-532-2020 you can remain anonymous.