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Hunter pleads guilty to poaching

Updated: April 9, 2013 7:25PM

A Minooka bowhunter who shot a 36-point buck near Morris in 2009 pleaded guilty to poaching charges Tuesday in Grundy County court.

Christopher Kiernan, 46, was a celebrity in the hunting world after he took the 36-point non-typical deer scoring 261 5/8 and valued at $35,000.

But Kiernan was branded a criminal in November 2011, when he was charged by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources after an 11-month investigation into the unlawful harvest of the massive buck.

He pleaded guilty to five misdemeanors, including the unlawful taking of an 11-point white-tailed deer without permission, the unlawful taking of a 16-point white-tailed deer without permission, and unlawful hunting on the land of another without permission, said Grundy County State’s Attorney Jason Helland.

Kiernan was sentenced to two years of probation and ordered not to hunt during that time. He also must pay $10,000 in restitution as well as a fine and court costs of $840.

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