Iowa DNR conservation officers have been busy busting violators. Here are three recent incidents reported via news releases from the agency.
2 Charged with Illegal Netting
MUSCATINE COUNTY, Iowa â€“ Acting on a tip from last month, officers charged two men for illegal netting in the Cedar River, located in Muscatine County.
Cody Frye, 31, of Nichols, Iowa, and Derek Brase, 30, of Wilton, Iowa, were both fined $792. The men were reportedly intending to catch catfish in a hoop net, "But because of their lack of experience and knowledge of commercial fishing, they did not catch any catfish," DNR officer Joe Fourdyce said in the news release. "However, because they were not attending the net frequently enough, they ended up killing some rough fish and soft shell turtles."
The men were charged with one count each:
- Unlawful use of commercial gear in prohibited water
- Failure to attend commercial gear
- No valid commercial fishing license
- Unlawful take of softshell turtles
- Unlawful take of buffalo
- No commercial fishing gear tag
3 accused of animal torture
Three Keokuk teens were charged July 6, with animal torture after a video appeared online in early May showing them throwing and beating an opossum that had been hit by a vehicle.
Numerous complaints were filed by viewers to the Iowa DNR, Lee County Attorney's Office and the Keokuk Police Department.
The suspects are scheduled to appear in Lee County court on July 26. Animal torture is an aggravated misdemeanor.
2 charged after reports of shots fired
POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY, Iowa â€“ Sein Ram, 37, and Gungsar Yungtang, 17, both of Omaha, face chargers after state park rangers investigated a report of shots fired at Lake Manawa on July 22.
After a traffic stop around 1 a.m. on the 22nd, the suspects told rangers they were rabbit hunting with a flash light from their vehicle, which brought immediate charges for hunting by artificial light, hunting without a non-resident hunting license, and illegal attempt to take game.
A .22 caliber rifle, ammunition and a flash light were seized during the traffic stop.
Further investigation found a dead doe near the scene with multiple gunshot wounds, and a blood trail "consistent with being shot from the roadway," a DNR news release stated. A .22 bullet was recovered from the deer.
Park rangers met again with Ram later and charged him with failure to have a non-resident antlerless deer license, abandonment of dead or injured wildlife, illegal method of take, shooting a firearm over a roadway, and trespassing. He also received several warnings.
Yungtang was fined $450. Ram was fined $3,808.70.
The Iowa DNR encourages the reporting of poaching or other illegal activity related to our natural resources by anonymously calling our DNR Turn In Poachers (TIP) hotline at 1-800-532-2020 or by filling out this form online.
Note: A criminal charge is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.