Case Snapshot
Case ID: 6715
Classification: Unlawful Trapping/Hunting
Animal: deer
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Monday, Oct 31, 2005

County: Grand Forks

Disposition: State Citation

Person of Interest: David J Hatcha

A Hoople, N.D., man faces fines and possible loss of hunting privileges for allegedly shooting white-tailed deer with a rifle before the opening of the state's firearms deer season.

Charged with two counts of illegally taking deer was David J. Matcha of Hoople.

According to Gary Rankin, district game warden for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department in Larimore, N.D., information gathered during a traffic stop led authorities to suspect deer might have been taken out of season. Matcha wasn't driving the vehicle that was pulled over, Rankin said, but deer parts collected from the stop led authorities to obtain a search warrant for a residence near Hoople.

Rankin, accompanied by district game warden Mike Sedlacek of Cavalier, N.D., and Walsh County sheriff's deputy Jim Kosmatka, served the warrant the morning of Nov. 4, 2005, a few hours before the opening of North Dakota's firearms deer season. According to Rankin, the search produced an average-sized buck hanging in the garage. The buck was very fresh, he said, most likely taken the previous night, and some of the meat had been removed. The other deer already was cut up.
Rankin said they served the warrant before deer season opened because "once deer season opens, lots of deer are floating around that are taken legally."
Rankin signed a complaint in Walsh County District Court charging Matcha with the two counts of illegally taking deer. A spokeswoman for the state's attorney's office said Friday that a summons date tentatively is set for Nov. 28, 2005.

A Class A misdemeanor, shooting deer out of season carries a maximum fine of $2,000, possible suspension of hunting privileges for up to two years per charge, up to one year in jail and possible confiscation of equipment used in the violation.


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