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Iowa man pleads guilty to poaching trophy buck

DES MOINES – An Iowa man must pay thousands of dollars in fines and fees for illegally trespassing and poaching a trophy buck.

Brett Cranston, 41, of Jefferson, pleaded guilty on March 9 to three charges related to illegally taking a deer during the first shotgun deer season in Greene County.

The poaching case began when Cranston spotted the deer one mile west of Hwy. 4 and about six miles south of Jefferson in the midafternoon on Dec. 11, 2016. He fired at the deer and then began following it on county roads pausing occasionally to fire additional shots. The chase covered about nine miles and ended in a cornfield about 2-1/2 miles east-southeast of Cooper. The deer antlers green score exceeded 200 inches.

Cranston pleaded guilty to trespassing while deer hunting, using motor vehicle to hunt deer and shooting within 200 yards of residence. Cranston had his hunting privileges suspended for one year, forfeited his shotgun and the buck deer, was fined $665.45 and assessed $8,000 in liquidated damages.

Cranston was assisted in pursuit of this deer by Jeramiah Pedersen, 42, of Grand Junction, who has pleaded guilty to not having a hunting license and trespassing while hunting deer. Pedersen was fined $416.

State Conservation Officer Dan Pauley said the case began when he received a call on Dec. 11, about an individual who was trespassing while deer during the shotgun season. Pauley and fellow officer Jeremy King met with Cranston on Dec. 12.

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