Fish and Game enforcement
Man sentenced for illegal buck MARSHALL COUNTY, Minn. -- A Newfolden, Minn., man has been sentenced to pay nearly $1,100 in fines and restitution for illegally taking a whitetail buck during the 2009 firearms deer season in Marshall County. Joel ...
Man sentenced for illegal buck
MARSHALL COUNTY, Minn. -- A Newfolden, Minn., man has been sentenced to pay nearly $1,100 in fines and restitution for illegally taking a whitetail buck during the 2009 firearms deer season in Marshall County.
Joel Olson, 50, was ordered to pay a $585 fine and $500 restitution for unlawful transportation of wild animals. As part of a plea agreement, the court dropped misdemeanor charges of attempting to take game from a public highway and failure to register a deer.
The court also placed Olson on two years' probation and stayed a 30-day jail sentence for two years.
According to complaint reports filed at the time of the November 2009 incident, Olson was charged after Department of Natural Resources conservation officers received a tip through the state's Turn in Poachers hotline that someone had shot a deer from the road more than half an hour before the start of legal shooting hours Nov. 8, the second day of deer season.
The investigation eventually led the officers to Olson's residence, where they sized a 14-point buck that was caped and tagged with his hunting license.
Charges dropped against wildlife official
MINNEWAUKAN, N.D. -- Court officials in Benson County, N.D., recently dropped charges against a tribal game official on the Spirit Lake Indian Reservation.
Andrew Morin, director of the Spirit Lake tribe's Fish and Wildlife Department, had been charged with misdemeanor counts of interfering with the rights of hunters and trappers and criminal coercion.
Filed last December, the charges resulted after Morin reportedly approached duck hunters on private land on the reservation and told them they needed to buy tribal hunting licenses. The hunters, who were not Indians, had landowner permission to hunt the property. According to a Herald story published at the time, the land was on the reservation but classified as "fee simple" land -- privately owned and not managed by the tribe's Fish and Wildlife Department.
In late April, Judge Lee Christofferson dropped the charges.
Benson County Attorney James Wang did not immediately return a phone call Friday seeking comment on why the charges were dropped.
Family sentenced for baiting
MALTA, Mont. -- Members of a Minnesota family that owns property in southern Phillips County in northeastern Montana have agreed to pay $50,000 in restitution and fines for illegal baiting of big-game animals, hunting without licenses and/or permits, outfitting and other wildlife-related crimes.
Albert "Will" Carlson, 67, owner of the Blue Ridge Ranch in the Larb Hills area south of Malta, Mont., and son Todd Anthony Carlson, 41, Inver Grove Heights, Minn., recently pleaded guilty to multiple misdemeanor charges in Phillips County Justice Court.
The Carlson family was ordered to pay a total of $42,615 in restitution to the state of Montana and $7,385 in fines. The father and son each will forfeit their hunting, fishing and trapping privileges for three years in Montana and states involved in the wildlife violator compact.
Another son, Troy Albert Carlson, 45, and Sandra Pearl Carlson, 49, also of Inver Grove Heights, will not be allowed to hunt in Montana for three years.
The sentences result from an investigation that began in fall 2008, when wardens began investigating complaints the Carlsons allegedly were leading illegal elk hunts at baited sites within the ranch, which borders the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's Burnt Lodge Wilderness Study Area.
Further investigation revealed a variety of criminal violations, including the hunting of big-game animals without valid licenses and other outfitting-related infractions. Additional illegal luring, baiting and feeding of elk were documented through video surveillance.
Earlier this year, Montana wardens went to Minnesota and Wisconsin and conducted nearly 50 interviews with hunters who were suspected of illegally killing or illegally possessing elk that had been taken from the ranch. The Montana wardens were assisted by officers from Minnesota and Wisconsin's state wildlife agencies.
According to Dirk Paulsen, a field warden with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, charges are still pending against 11 out-of-state residents and the outfitter.