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Two accused of illegal hunting

February 23, 2012

From WISHTV.com
 
BRAZIL, Ind. (WTHI) - Two Wabash Valley men were arrested Thursday and now face more than two dozen charges of illegal hunting practices.
 
The investigation started in Clay County almost a year ago, 24-Hour News 8 news partner WTHI-TV reports.
 
At the center of the investigation is a hunting preserve, which is licensed and legal. What was happening on and around the preserve is what the Department of Natural Resources say is illegal.
 
According to DNR, the owner of Prairie Grove Hunting Preserves, James Jacob, 37, Brazil, was conducting illegal hunting practices from the location on Clay County County Road 425 West.
 
The charges include hunting at night, hunting near roads, hunting out of season and using illegal tactics.
 
Ronald Hayne, 62, Terre Haute, was also arrested and believed to be used as a hunting guide at the preserve for some of the illegal work.
 
DNR confiscated three vehicles, a Kubota mini-excavator, a number of firearms, one with a night vision scope, and several different animal carcasses and remains.
 
The illegal activity became a safety concern when hunters near roads shot at prey after sunset.
 
"It's scary to think that people are going to be not only doing something illegal from the roadway and shooting, but at nighttime you're not going to see what's past your target," DNR Public Information Officer Max Winchell said.
 
"It's just basically a good old-fashioned safety issue,” Clay County Prosecutor Lee Reberger said. “If you're violating these kinds of rules at night, it is reckless."
 
Jacob and Hayne face a variety of misdemeanor charges, and Jacob faces at least one felony.
 
Those charges come with some potential time in prison if found guilty, but more notable will be the fines. The state mandates that violators of some of the laws pay fines for replacing the game that was last. The usual fines are
$500 for the first and $1,000 for each additional.
 
As for the preserve, the department is still deciding on the status of its licensing.
 
No charges are expected for those who hunted in the preserve.

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