At the beginning of November, pictures started circulating the internet of a massive 200+ inch buck killed in Ohio. Details were somewhat sketchy and not a lot of people seemed to know the story. Turns out the reason was that the buck was poached and the poacher was trying to pass it off as a legit kill.
As a lot of people know Ohio is a one buck state, meaning that a hunter can only kill one antlered deer. So if you shoot your buck early then you are left to hunting does and if a real monster walks by you just have to let him go. At least that is how it is supposed to happen.
According to Woodbury Outfitters, Junior Troyer shot a 130 inch 8 point on the morning of November 7th. He went back out that evening to presumably shoot a doe, but a 26 point monster stepped out instead. Greed got the best of Junior and he killed it. Then came the cover-up.
He decapitated both bucks taking the body of the 8 pointer and the head of the 26 pointer as one buck and tagged it in. The next morning, he returned and took the headless body of the 26 pointer and checked it in as a doe. In the meantime, he took the head of the 8 pointer and threw it in a ditch which law enforcement later recovered.
He may have gotten away with it, but it turns out other hunters noticed a buck that size and were tracking him on trail cam. When they saw that the buck had been killed they did a little digging. They found the taxidermist that had the buck and checked out the antlers. The story the got from the taxidermist did not match what they knew about the buck. So the contacted the game warden. The game warden paid Junior a visit and during their conversation, he admitted to the whole thing.
Junior pleaded no contest to five charges. (1) providing false information while game-checking a deer; (2), attaching a game-check number to a deer that was originally issued to another; (3) taking more than one antlered deer in a licensed year; (4) possessing deer or deer parts (26-pointer) without valid tag and/ or permit; and (5), attaching an antlerless doe game-check number to an antlered deer.
He was fined $150 on each charge and another $87 for court costs. France then ordered Troyer to pay a $27,904.46 “restitution” fine to the state of Ohio for the value of the deer. Total in fines $28741.46. He also had his hunting privileges suspended for 2 years and sentenced to 60 days in jail.
The judge said if he paid his fine in full he would reduce his suspension to one year and suspend his jail time. Junior pulled out his checkbook and wrote a check for the entire amount.
So what happened to the buck? That buck will probably join other poached deer on the Ohio Department of resources Wall of Shame. It travels the state as a reminder to would be poachers that crime does not pay.