Hunter accused of poaching trophy buck gets jail time in plea deal

  • Article by: DENNIS ANDERSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 19, 2010 - 8:15 AM

The Cannon Falls man charged with poaching a world-record white-tailed buck on Halloween in Goodhue County also loses his hunting privileges for five years.

hide

Minnesota conservation officer Major Rod Smith held up antlers of a poached buck that measured over 28 inches wide, Nov. 12, 2009.

Photo: Marlin Levison, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

RED WING, MINN. — A Cannon Falls man accused of poaching a world-record 8-point white-tailed buck on Halloween in Goodhue County pleaded guilty Thursday to three charges and will go to jail. 

Troy Alan Reinke, 32, admitted in District Court to a gross misdemeanor for illegally possessing the trophy buck, and to misdemeanors for failing to register a doe he shot earlier in October with his bow, and also for killing a smaller buck with his bow in excess of his limit.

About a dozen other charges were dismissed.

The poaching admissions put Reinke in violation of his parole from an earlier domestic assault conviction. Crediting him for 120 days served in that case, Judge Thomas Bibus sentenced Reinke to 245 days in jail -- a year in all.

Reinke also loses his big- and small-game hunting privileges for five years, and must pay $1,500 in restitution and $500 in court costs. The rack of the trophy animal will go to the DNR enforcement division, and Reinke must forfeit his bow.

Reinke "realizes he's a demon in the hunting community," said his attorney, public defender Tim Dillon of Cannon Falls.

Asked whether he was happy with the deal his office cut with Reinke, Assistant County Attorney Dave Grove said, "Quite.''

The case has received widespread attention because of the buck's size. A preliminary scoring measured its antlers at about 190 gross and 185 net, unheard of in North America for an 8-pointer.

Had the animal been killed legally, it would have been the largest 8-pointer ever registered by Boone and Crockett or Pope and Young, which records trophy animals.

As he left court, Reinke didn't answer a reporter's question about how the trophy buck was killed. In court, Bibus, Grove and Dillon acknowledged they "weren't going to get into what actually happened.''

Reinke had said he found the 8-point buck already dead, according to Department of Natural Resources conservation officers. Originally, Reinke said he shot the animal with a bow. He changed his story after investigators determined the deer was killed by a gun.

Dillon said Reinke maintains he didn't kill the big buck, adding that Reinke, in accordance with his probation from the domestic assault conviction, hasn't possessed a gun in years. The firearms deer season was closed when the trophy buck was killed.

"He pleaded guilty because he possessed the animal,'' Dillon said. "He maintains he found it and took it as his own, and, being financially suppressed, he thought it was worth something.

"He got greedy and thought he could make some money on the deal, and told some stories that weren't true.''

In a January court appearance, Dillon had asked the state to test Reinke's hunting jacket for gunpowder residue, maintaining none would be found. Grove at the time dismissed the idea, and the testing never occurred, Dillon said Thursday.

The Minnesota Deer Hunters Association has proposed that fines and restitution for trophy-class animals in particular be raised substantially in Minnesota to reflect the market value of the animals.

Dillon, for example, said after court he heard that Cabela's offered the DNR $200,000 for the head and rack of the Goodhue County buck.

The buck reportedly field-dressed at 265 pounds.

At the time the big buck was killed, or found, Reinke was licensed to kill only one deer, by archery. Because he hadn't tagged the doe or smaller buck he shot earlier, the DNR contended all three were poached.

Reinke has earlier convictions for marijuana possession, theft and assault.

"I think he's learned his lesson,'' Dillon said. "It's unlikely you'll see him around [the courthouse] again,'' he said.

Dennis Anderson • 612-673-4424

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

Click here to send us your hunting or fishing photos – and to see what others are showing off from around the region.

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 14 3rd Qtr
Seattle 14
Miami 83 FINAL
Boston 75
LA Lakers 80 FINAL
New York 92
Arizona 3 FINAL
Montreal 2
St. Louis 4 FINAL
Washington 3
Nashville 4 FINAL
Pittsburgh 0
Minnesota 4 FINAL
Vancouver 2
Miami-Florida 54 FINAL
Florida State 55
Oakland 96 FINAL
Youngstown St 80
Cincinnati 46 FINAL
East Carolina 50
Michigan 66 FINAL
Michigan State 76
Marist 75 FINAL
Canisius 67
Fordham 77 FINAL
Dayton 101
Manhattan 87 FINAL
Monmouth 76
Quinnipiac 100 FINAL
Niagara 105
Utah 67 FINAL
USC 39
Connecticut 68 FINAL
Houston 70
California 90 FINAL
Washington 88
North Dakota St 64 FINAL
Western Ill 62
Penn State 65 FINAL
(22) Rutgers 76
(14) Texas 59 FINAL
TCU 64
Coll of Charleston 49 FINAL
Towson 71
Cornell 53 FINAL
Yale 60
Xavier 68 FINAL
Providence 57
Drexel 61 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 44
Stony Brook 60 FINAL
New Hampshire 52
Maine 52 FINAL
Albany 44
Miami-Florida 66 FINAL
Pittsburgh 81
(21) Georgia 72 FINAL
(10) Kentucky 80
Arizona 69 FINAL
Colorado 81
Wake Forest 63 FINAL
(4) Notre Dame 92
Loyola-Chicago 56 FINAL
Illinois State 72
(24) Oklahoma 69 FINAL
West Virginia 78
St Johns 73 FINAL
Seton Hall 78
Delaware 73 FINAL
Hofstra 62
Binghamton 49 FINAL
UMass Lowell 66
Vermont 49 FINAL
Hartford 60
William & Mary 72 FINAL
Northeastern 66
Boston College 60 FINAL
(16) North Carolina 72
Virginia 77 FINAL
Clemson 72
(2) Connecticut 83 FINAL
Temple 49
Arkansas 53 FINAL
Alabama 42
Virginia Tech 71 FINAL
Georgia Tech 79
Kansas 58 FINAL
(3) Baylor 66
Canisius 51 FINAL
Rider 52
Monmouth 52 FINAL
Fairfield 54
Quinnipiac 81 FINAL
Saint Peters 50
Butler 55 FINAL
Creighton 62
Wichita State 61 FINAL
Drake 64
Evansville 52 FINAL
Indiana State 67
(18) Miss State 67 FINAL
(6) Tennessee 79
Villanova 47 FINAL
DePaul 49
Georgetown 73 FINAL
Marquette 80
North Texas 55 FINAL
Rice 58
Auburn 45 FINAL
(12) Texas A&M 78
(11) Arizona State 58 FINAL
Utah 48
Missouri State 56 FINAL
Northern Iowa 64
Michigan 60 FINAL
(15) Nebraska 75
Minnesota 49 FINAL
Northwestern 70
Wisconsin 73 FINAL
Illinois 62
Bradley 59 FINAL
Southern Ill 76
Florida 67 FINAL
Vanderbilt 58
(20) Iowa 88 FINAL
(5) Maryland 93
(1) South Carolina 77 FINAL
Ole Miss 59
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Should the lake where the albino muskie was caught remain a mystery?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close