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Tip Leads to Turkey Poaching Case

DES MOINES – A Sioux City man was apprehended on several counts resulting from the alleged illegal shooting of a wild turkey north of Pisgah, in Monona County.

Phuoc Nguyen, 42, pleaded guilty to not having a valid turkey tag, illegal method of harvesting a turkey by using a rifle, shooting a turkey out of season, abandonment of dead or injured wildlife and shooting a rifle on or over a roadway.

He faces fines totaling more than $700 and liquidated damages for the turkey of $200. The turkey and a Marlin .22-caliber rifle with scope were seized.

The investigation began after Chase Durfee, a technician for the DNR Forestry Bureau, was contacted by a citizen on March 19.

Durfee identified Nguyen’s vehicle and followed it, observing Nguyen stopping at one point and moving an uncased rifle from the front to the rear of the vehicle.

Jeff Poen, park ranger for Lewis and Clark State Park, stopped Nguyen’s vehicle on I-29 where an uncased gun was observed. Durfee and Poen located and recovered the turkey that had been shot on state forest land near the Boy Scout Camp, north of Pisgah. Nguyen was later charged by DNR Conservation Officer Steve Griebel.

Nguyen still faces a charge of having an uncased gun in the vehicle in Harrison County.

DNR Conservation Officer Dave Tierney said this is another case that underscores the importance of citizens providing eye-witness information when they see illegal activity taking place. A good option for providing the information is through the Turn In Poachers hotline, 1-800-532-2020.

“Our best chance to catch poachers is when the public provides us with timely information after witnessing illegal activity take place,” said Tierney.

“This case is an excellent example of how good information from the public can result in an arrest even if we don’t have a conservation officer immediately available. This case was a team effort involving three DNR bureaus,” Tierney added.

For more information contact Steve Griebel, Conservation Officer, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, 712-301-4009.

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