February 19, 2008
A trophy size deer poached in 2006 is now on display at Mille Lacs Kathio State
Park thanks to the Turn-In-Poachers (TIP) hotline.
Joshua R. Lincoln, 20, of Hillman, was recently ordered to pay $1,500 in fines
and restitution for shooting an eight-point buck in the park in November 2006.
He also served five days in jail and had his big game hunting privileges
suspended for three years.
State Conservation Officer Paul Kuske of Pierz received a call from the TIP
hotline that Lincoln had the poached deer in the back of his pickup. Kruse
discovered an untagged buck and the head of a tagged buck under some tires in
the bed of Lincoln’s truck.
Lincoln initially told Kuske the tagged deer was being processed and the
untagged deer belonged to a hunting partner who had forgotten to register the
animal. He later changed his story.
“While returning home after work around 10:30 at night, Lincoln said he saw what
he described as ‘the biggest buck he had ever seen,’” Kuske said. “Using a
spotlight and 30-30 rifle, Lincoln shot the deer, drove into the park and
retrieved it. He tried to get a friend to tag the deer, but the friend wanted no
part of any illegal activity.”
A portion of the restitution amount was used to mount the deer, which is now on
display at the interpretive center.
“It was a beautiful buck that likely spent its days in the state park,” Kuske
said. “It only seems appropriate that it be mounted and shared with those who
visit Kathio. It’s about the only positive way to look at this poaching case.”
People who witness a game or fish violation in Minnesota can report the incident
to the state’s TIP hotline at 1-800-652-9093.