33-year-old Olivia man faces 17 counts for illegal taking of game
OLIVIA -- An Olivia man faces 17 different misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor charges for allegedly taking four deer by illegal means and registering and transporting the deer using other people's archery licenses procured at his request.
Chuck Lee Baumgartner, 33, was released on his own recognizance after pleading not guilty to the charges Monday in District Court in Olivia. The conditions of his release require that he not possess any hunting implements.
The charges against him follow an investigation by a Minnesota conservation officer.
The complaint alleges that Baumgartner used a crossbow equipped with a spotlight to shine and take deer at night from a motor vehicle. The complaint also alleges that he transported the crossbow while it was armed, and that he shined deer, kept an over-limit of game, illegally transported game, and hunted during the restricted night hours.
The alleged incidents occurred during September, October and November of 2009 at locations in Winfield and Henryville townships of Renville County.
According to the complaint, an individual told the officer that he helped the defendant field dress a deer taken with a crossbow from a vehicle at night near the Bechyn gravel pits in Henryville Township.
He said that Baumgartner transported the deer to a garage in Olivia and butchered it. Three other individuals told the officer that they purchased archery licenses in their names at Baumgartner's request.
He called each of them after he had taken a deer. Each said they registered a deer with the license in their name.
Penalties for the offenses filed against Baumgartner range from 30 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine for each of the 10 misdemeanor offenses and up to one year in jail and or a $3,000 fine for each of the seven gross misdemeanor offenses.
If convicted, Baumgartner could also have his hunting privileges suspended and be required to forfeit his hunting implements and a vehicle taken into possession during the investigation. He could also be ordered to make restitution of $500 per deer. Court records indicate that Buamgartner has had previous convictions for minor game violations, including fishing without a license, fishing with an extra line, and taking walleye out of season.
He was also convicted for unrelated offenses including second-degree burglary and theft of a firearm in 2003 in Renville County and second-degree assault in 2004 in Brown County, according to the court records.