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MN: Hugo man charged with poaching trophy buck

Hugo man charged with poaching trophy buck

12/31/2010

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The story and evidence just didn't add up for a Hugo man who is facing $10,000 in fines and restitution - and loss of his hunting privileges - for allegedly poaching a 10-point trophy buck in early November.

After receiving a Turn-In-Poacher call, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources conservation officer Robert Haberman of Little Falls recovered a deer from a central Minnesota taxidermist. The deer tag had not been validated, nor had the deer been registered. The buck scored 146 2/8 inches under Boone and Crockett, which records trophy animals.

Christopher C. Mogren, 43, said he had legally taken the buck by archery. However, an inspection of the carcass revealed a clean arrow wound behind the left shoulder and a large wound on the right shoulder consistent with firearm trauma. A forensics analysis found multiple metal fragments similar to those from a bullet fired from a high-powered rifle.

Mogren eventually admitted using a firearm to shoot a "severely injured" deer that had wandered onto his property. Using a skid loader, he transported the deer to his home where he later arrowed the deer. He purchased an archery tag, waited a couple of days, and tried to claim the deer was taken by archery.

Mogren said a family member subsequently dropped the deer off at the taxidermist.

State conservation officers seized the skid loader, a Remington model 700 rifle with scope, and 21 packages of deer venison. They also collected photos of Mogren posing with the deer and the arrow used.

Mogren has been charged with a gross misdemeanor for taking big game out of season ($3,000 fine), taking a big game animal without a license ($1,000 fine), gross misdemeanor transporting an illegally taken big game animal ($3,000 fine), failure to validate a deer tag ($1,000 fine) and failure to register a big game animal ($1,000 fine). Restitution for a trophy buck is $1,000.

A trial date has not been set in Washington County. If convicted, Mogren could also lose his hunting privileges for three years.

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