BAXTER — The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is investigating a deer poached during the overnight hours on Friday, Nov. 12, in Baxter.

The deer was found Saturday with its antlers removed on the north side of Clearwater Road west of Minnesota Highway 371, said Joe Albert, the Minnesota DNR Enforcement Division communications coordinator. None of the meat was harvested by the poachers on the estimated 4.5-year-old buck.

Conservation Officer Eric Sullivan said there is a history of individuals taking illegal deer within the city limits of Baxter.

“The city is home to a large population of deer and at times a poacher will take advantage of larger bucks that are visible and choose not to move,” Sullivan said. “I can tell you that most years there are one or two cases that are clear poaching cases, where the deer was taken illegally.”

The DNR suspects this deer was shot once with a crossbow.

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Several violations typically occur during a poaching incident such as taking big game from the roadway, taking big game during closed hours, wanton waste and trespassing are all misdemeanor offenses.

Gross misdemeanor charges can be brought for transporting illegally taken big game and casting artificial light to locate animals.

When caught, restitution for an illegally taken buck can be up to $1,000 and confiscation of vehicles used to transport illegally taken big game.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Turn in Poachers hotlines. The TIP line can be reached by phone at 1-800-652-9093, through a text message to "#TIP" or you can send a report online at dnr.state.mn.us/enforcement/tipreportingform.html. Rewards are offered.



TIM SPEIER, staff writer, can be reached on Twitter @timmy2thyme, call 218-855-5859 or email tim.speier@brainerddispatch.com.