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Men from Linn, Buchanan counties convicted of poaching, dozens of wildlife violations

2 charged with illegally taking wild turkey, deer in Iowa and possibly an elk; 2 others plead guilty to other charges

Iowa map (Image via Wikimedia Commons)
Iowa map (Image via Wikimedia Commons)

After a yearlong investigation by conservation officers, four people in Linn and Buchanan counties have been convicted of dozens of wildlife violations.

Jason Webster, 42, of Quasqueton and Jeremiah Pillard, 42, of Troy Mills, were charged with multiple offenses following a routine inspection of local taxidermy operations that led to authorities executing search warrants in January 2020, according to a news release from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

Webster was charged with illegally taking wild turkeys, abandoning dead or injured white-tailed deer, and 19 other criminal violations involving deer and fur-bearing animals, as well as fraudulent use of licenses and tags in the two counties. He negotiated a plea deal that includes him paying civil damages of $15,550 for the value of the wildlife in addition to criminal fines, according to court documents.

Pillard pleaded guilty to the illegal taking of wild turkeys, white-tailed deer and rabbits, as well as being a felon in possession of a firearm. He was ordered to pay $6,750 in civil damages for the value of the wildlife, in addition to criminal fines.

Pillard also received a five-year suspended prison sentence and was placed on two years of probation.

Both men’s hunting privileges are suspended indefinitely until all civil damages are paid. They also received three-year multiple offender license suspensions, and Webster received a five-year, court-ordered license suspension.

The court also condemned the men’s rifles, scopes, animal parts and meat, and a 12-point deer skull.

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The poaching took place between October 2019 and January 2020. Iowa officials are working with authorities in the western U.S. to determine the origin of an elk found in Pillard’s freezer, according to the Iowa DNR.

Kelly Sherrets McCardle, 52, of rural Quasqueton also pleaded guilty to illegally providing her deer tags for other hunters to use.

Shelia Kisner, 36, of Quasqueton pleaded guilty to hunting without a valid license, habitat fee and deer tag. She also received a warning for harassing a public officer, the release said.

Comments: (319) 398-8255; gage.miskimen@thegazette.com

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