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Conservation Officers with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources say a Holland man has been convicted of illegally taking what most hunters would consider a buck of a lifetime.

56-year old Mark Gill of Holland harvested a non-typical 20 point buck with more than 200 inches of antler during the 2016 season after already taking a buck earlier that archery season. Authorities say it violated the state of Indiana’s one-buck rule.

As part of his plea agreement with the Dubois County Prosecutor’s office Gill’s hunting license privileges will be suspended for a period of two years, he will serve 100 hours of community service, be on probation for 540 days and pay $741 in fines and court costs including a $500 replacement fee.

It was determined that Gill caped out the second harvested buck of the 2016 season and froze it until the 2017 season before checking it in. Conservation Officers say by doing this he provided false information to Indiana’s deer harvest information system.

Because of his Indiana hunting license suspension, Gill will be entered into the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact. This is an agreement that recognizes the suspension of hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses in 48 member states. The only states not currently in the violator compact are Massachusetts and Hawaii.

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).

The Turn In a Poacher program, also known as the TIP Program, which is a way for anonymous callers to provide information about wildlife crimes, was used in this case.

The program has local origins, having been started by what is now the Dubois County Sportsman Club in the early 1980s. It eventually transitioned to a state program providing monetary reimbursement for information leading to an arrest. During the 2018 calendar year, TIP received a total of 277 reports.

To report future wildlife poaching or pollution you can call 1-800-TIP-IDNR or submit an online form at dnr.IN.gov/lawenfor.

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