We’ve all been there, in one way or another. You get skunked all season only to find a big buck the day after the season closes. Or maybe you’ve been in Mark Gill’s shoe’s and after filling your tag, you have an opportunity to shoot an even bigger buck. The thing is, most of us would just take pictures and plan how we are going to hunt him next year. Gill had a different plan.
Gill, who was archery hunting in Indiana, chose to shoot the “buck of a lifetime”. This amazing, non-typical whitetail was measured at over 200 inches and 20 points. Indiana has a one-buck rule though and Gill had already taken a deer that archery season. To avoid being caught, he froze the buck and then turned it in during the 2017 season trying to pass it off as a fresh kill. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources wasn’t buying it.
On March 6th, Gill pled guilty to unlawful taking of a white-tailed deer (Class B Misdemeanor) and providing false information to a check station (Class C Misdemeanor). As part of his plea deal, he will lose his hunting privileges for 2 years in 48 states. In addition to that, he will be on probation for 540 days and will do 100 hours of community service. In total, he will have to pay $741 in legal fees, $500 of which is a “replacement” fee.
Gill also had the buck mounted, and the Indiana DNR confiscated it. It will “likely be displayed for educational purposes”.
Indiana DNR learned of the poaching via their TIP (Turn In a Poacher) line. They are using this incident as an example and are encouraging people to report poachers. Any information leading to an arrest has a cash reward. To report poaching you can call 1-800-TIP-IDNR or submit an online form here.
What do you think of Gill’s punishment?