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Friday, May 6, 2016

Arrests linked to illegal hunting activities in area

Thursday, February 23, 2012

(Photo)
Clay County Prosecutor B. Lee Reberger (above) addresses the media following the arrests of two local men in connection to illegal hunting charges surrounding the Prairie Grove Hunting Preserve, 2768 County Road 425 W., Brazil. [Order this photo]
Two Wabash Valley men were arrested Thursday by Indiana Conservation Officers for multiple alleged violations of wildlife laws.

A 12-month investigation conducted by conservation officers allege that James L. Jacob, 37, Brazil, committed one class D felony of unlawful sale or shipment of wild animals, in addition to five class B misdemeanors, and 14 class C misdemeanors, while Ronald Hayne, 62, Terre Haute, allegedly committed eight class C misdemeanors.

"The two individuals aided or induced clients to violate hunting laws," Indiana Conservation Officer Max Winchell said. "Our officers became aware of some violations and looked into it."

According to conservation officers, it is alleged that Jacob and Hayne aided their clients in hunting illegally while under their direction.

"They've been guiding their clients and aiding them to commit wildlife violations," Winchell said.

The alleged violations took place upon and around the area near the Prairie Grove Hunting Preserve, 2768 County Road 425 W., Brazil, which is owned by Jacob, in addition to other areas of rural Clay County.

According to officers, Hayne works as a guide for the hunting preserve.

Officials said, a hunting preserve is essentially a situation where hunters go to hunt animals that have been raised at the location.

The owners of the preserve are supposed to raise the animals and release them when they have clients at the location.

Conservation officers also seized three trucks, one mini-excavator, three rifles, five sets of white-tailed deer antlers, two gray fox, one wild turkey carcass, one mallard drake carcass and two computers.

Officials said the vehicles and firearms are subject to forfeiture upon conviction.

"(The investigation) has been going on for quite some time," Clay County Prosecutor B. Lee Reberger said. "They were violating wildlife gaming law, hunting out of season and using (illegal equipment)."

Both Winchell and Reberger said some of the violations included hunting in public areas outside of the preserve.

"It's a public safety concern," Winchell said. "Anytime you're shooting from a roadway at day or night, it's a public concern."

"It's a good old-fashioned safety issue," Reberger said, adding the alleged violations were "reckless."

Both added some of the violations included hunting specific animals out of season.

"The seasons exist to protect the wildlife," Winchell said.

According to Reberger, if convicted, both face fines for the infractions.

Conservation officers stated a person convicted of illegal possession of a whitetail deer or wild turkey must reimburse the state $500 for the first violation and $1,000 for each subsequent violation.

A class D felony conviction carries a penalty of six months to three years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.

A class B misdemeanor conviction carries a penalty of up to 180 days in prison and fines of up to $1,000.

In addition, a class C misdemeanor conviction carries a penalty of up to 60 days in prison and fines of up to $500.

Both Jacob and Hayne were transported to the Clay County Justice Center.

Jacob's bond was set at $7,000, with 10 percent allowed, while Hayne's bond was set at $5,000, also with 10 percent allowed. At press time, both had bonded out.

Officials added the Indiana Department of Natural Resources would be re-evaluating the license of the business to determine if it would remain open.


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I am flabbergasted about this story! Our land meets up with the hunting preserve and I have never heard gun shots at night nor have I seen any hunters at night. Its hard to believe anything illigal was going on.

-- Posted by jennygirl47803 on Thu, Feb 23, 2012, at 11:16 PM

This is shocking and disgusting. It's bullying and political grand-standing. You're telling me it took DNR 12 months to rack up a bunch of minor issues, then wait to pounce in a "bust"? Jim Jacobs is a hard working, landowning taxpayer, not a meth-head by any stretch. This was not a drug bust or child porn issue. If there were dozens of C-misdemeanors, why weren't they addressed 12, 11, 10, 9 months ago? Why did DNR and Reberger wait to make a big show? If public safety were "really" an issue with the night shooting, then it should have been addressed long before this invasion. Frankly, this looks like little boys in uniforms playing 'big cop' over a bunch of nonsense. Reberger and the DNR need to be reminded that their paychecks come from taxpaying businesses like Jacobs'. This state needs to encourage and help small businesses, not ambush them with weapons drawn. It's disgusting. We need new law enforcement because this crew clearly has no respect for private citizens and property owners. To treat these farmers the same way they would druggies is disgusting. If the DNR feels that hunting preserves are costing the state money by way of lost hunting license revenue, then the DNR employees need to remember the value of industry as a whole. Working with business owners, not ambushing them, is the appropriate method.

-- Posted by OldKnight on Fri, Feb 24, 2012, at 9:06 AM

I still don't get it, if you kill a deer out of season it is the states deer. But if you hit a deer with your car it is not there deer, and the state won't pay for your wreck.

-- Posted by smallguysmalltown on Fri, Feb 24, 2012, at 11:17 AM

Confiscating the vehicles seems a bit extreme to me. Wonder if someone just had a bone to pick with them.

-- Posted by indianamama on Fri, Feb 24, 2012, at 1:38 PM

Let the drunk drivers, child molesters and wife beaters run free while we take down these dangerous criminals that are hunting on a privately owned game preserve. All to protect the animals that are being hunted out of season, even though state parks hold large hunts and we are told that the deer population is too high. Let's also forget that the fowl raised for these hunts are in danger because of the animals roaming at night, that needed to be hunted at night with night scopes. This sounds like someone with a vendetta. Also sounds like a good old fashioned case of entrapment and taking all his equipment and trucks is a way for the county to make some extra money. If this is offensive to the above mentioned, don't forget freedom of speech.

-- Posted by ccsecret1 on Fri, Feb 24, 2012, at 2:59 PM

I just want to let some folks know that you have really done this community a dis-service. Jim Jacobs, as OldKnight said above, is a very hard working farmer, father and friend. I have been getting my hay from Jim for a number of years and he always goes above and beyond to accomdate me and my work schedule, as he does with several other folks who get hay from him.

Also, to chime in with OldKnight, you could have ticketed him or talked to him at the time of these alledged misdeeds instead of making a big freaking fiasco about it. This is outrageous and insulting. Shame on you B. Lee Reberger for letting this fly! Thanks for trying to ruin an hard working man's life.

-- Posted by appaloosa queen on Fri, Feb 24, 2012, at 3:25 PM

I am all for stopping illegal hunting activities. But, this stinks of grandstanding on the part of the officials.

Why on earth would they allow said "public safety issues" to continue for a whole year, before doing something to stop it? It seems to me that the DNR should be held accountable for not preventing public safety issues in a timely manner. Would it be ok for a police officer to knowingly allow a person to drink and drive repeatedly? Then it should not be ok for the DNR.

I do not know any of the individuals involved, but I have a suspicion that they are the real victims in this case.

-- Posted by Oldtown on Fri, Feb 24, 2012, at 5:02 PM

These hunting preserves are inspected yearly by the DNR and have to pass inspection to get their license; the hunting season opens the first part of September, sooooooooo: if the DNR has been watching this preserve for the 'last year' why did they let it open in September???? Why didn't the DNR find the violations during the inspection!?? and review problems 'then' if need it! This young man works hard and has all his life, the DNR has blind-sided him and needs to be accountable for their actions and misleadings.

-- Posted by 3days2 on Fri, Feb 24, 2012, at 8:10 PM

Wow! Came in here to run this down. What a bunch of BS! But, looks like you guys and gals have taken care of it. This is politics, pure and simple. My guess is that he's checked the rules and his understanding of the law is different that what the DNR wants the law to be.

It seems an extreme constitutional violation to tell a guy what he can hunt and when he can hunt on his own land. As someone said above, if the deer belongs to the state then if it jumps on your car they should pay, but they don't. If one of my cows does the same the state will make me pay your damages *AND* ticket me for my errant cow.

We live in a police state, people, this is proof positive. Lee Reberger: Make this go away. The citizens will not forget about it.

The fact is, all these tickets and charges is about REVENUE GENERATION. They can't gouge enough taxes out of us so they need to get a few thousand out of a few unlucky individuals such as this. Time for "Under common law, I do not consent and I waive the benefits." Too bad I couldn't have talked to him before the state pirates got to him.

-- Posted by ClayPrepper on Sat, Feb 25, 2012, at 9:05 AM

I personally find it extremely disrespectful that all of you are slamming the law enforcement agencies for doing thier jobs. Last week everyone was patting them on thier backs for a job well done after they dismantled a serious meth ring. This case probably went on for a length of time because more serious cases trumped this one because of its nature. Our local law enoforcement guys are an extremely hardworking bunch that devote ALOT of time on and off the clock to protect the citizens of our county. Laws are laws and they need to be enforced to the best of thier abilities. This crime seems petty, however, it wasnt just one crime. It wasnt like someone accidently rolled through a stop sign once. The laundry list of crimes shows intent and complete disreguard for the law. Furthermore, these two gentlemen are running a bussiness for profit of leading and teaching less knowledgeable people to hunt illegally, and for a PROFIT. Not only is it against the law it is ETHICALLY wrong. KUDOS to the DNR and our local law enforcement for publically making a perfect example of what NOT to do.

-- Posted by WhateversClever on Sat, Feb 25, 2012, at 9:24 AM

in addition, This is exactly what is wrong with the world today. Nobody ever takes responsiblity for thier actions. Its always the states fault for calling someone out on thier wrong doings and holding them accountable for thier decisions.

-- Posted by WhateversClever on Sat, Feb 25, 2012, at 9:40 AM

I believe it was the Feds who came in a dismantled the meth ring, not the agencies these folks are talking about.

-- Posted by myownlittleworld1 on Sat, Feb 25, 2012, at 11:59 PM

The only 'local persons' that attended this event, were (1) the Clay Co. DNR officer and (2)Reberger.

People need to remember the word 'alleged', meaning: to state as a fact 'without proof'.

Jim Jacob has not had his day to speak out yet. Many of the 'allegations' could have been a ticket or warnings, (and or) reviewed during inspections of the preserve (which is done yearly by the DNR). Also Jim Jacob is a farmer and land owner, and should have the right to protect his livestock from predator's (meaning animals) such as 'coyotes' who feed off the baby pigs, calves, cats, dogs, rabbits, and other wild life in the area. Is the state going to replace your livestock when killed by coyotes?? Jim Jacob is not the only one who hunts coyotes being day or night.

Remember: Jim Jacob has not had his day yet to speak and dispute the 'alleged' allegations! (I think we still have that Right)!

-- Posted by 3days2 on Sun, Feb 26, 2012, at 8:47 AM

3days2 - Thank you so much for stating that! AMEN!

-- Posted by ccsecret1 on Sun, Feb 26, 2012, at 7:47 PM

This is a joke. How long has that sign been on 42 advertising the preserve? It took 12 months to crack this case? 400 meth labs in this county, but they managed to stop Jim from shooting some birds that he raised on his top secret game preserve. Jim is a good, hard-working member of this community, even if something wasn't right, this could have been handled better than this.

-- Posted by CaptDan on Mon, Feb 27, 2012, at 7:14 PM

yea reberger will let a drunk driver go any day cause my mom was hit by a drunk driver and all that guy got out of it was a slap and the hand and got told not to do it again. and he will try putting jim in prison for deer antlers and gray fox hides yea that pretty dumb to me.

-- Posted by jw1233 on Mon, Feb 27, 2012, at 11:37 PM

i dont understand what they are getting out of all of this but it is very childish. ive been up their first hand to hunt and i never felt my live being indanger at all jim is a real good guy.

-- Posted by jw1233 on Mon, Feb 27, 2012, at 11:47 PM

There is no doubt that poaching is stealing. Imagine you're an 11 year-old boy or girl who has saved for a year to buy a gun or bow. Then taken the hunter safety course so you could proudly buy your license. You've read about and studied whitetail deer for years so you'd be ready to hunt. And then, someone poaches the deer you would have gotten on opening morning. That poacher has stolen that deer and the experience from that child. It's no different than kicking in their door at night and stealing meat from the freezer. I'm a lifetime hunter, it's one of the things I live for. My opinion, poachers need to be in fined the first time and put in prison if it happens again.

But if it's just a matter of misunderstanding the rules, which can be confusing, then this is indeed grandstanding.

-- Posted by bowman on Fri, Mar 2, 2012, at 5:14 PM


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