Illinois Deer Hunter faces 41 – Criminal Counts

In the fall of 2009 the Illinois deer hunting world was shocked to hear of a buck being taken by hunter Chris Kiernan of Minooka. Taken in November, Kiernan’s buck scored an astonishing 261 5/8 inches and was expected to shatter the state’s non-typical record. It seemed as though its only obstacle was awaiting the 2012 panel scoring by the Pope and Young club. It looks as though that panel scoring will never arrive.

Kiernan (along with two other men) has been charged with 41 counts of criminal complaint, which includes the aforementioned whitetail buck. It seems Kiernan had trespassed on land owned by the Material Service Corporation in Grundy County, Illinois. Kiernan originally reported he took the giant buck from nearby Kendall County. Even more appalling however, the district attorney says Kiernan never had a legal tag for the buck in the first place.

While we shouldn’t pass judgment until after the final court-ruling, the story has to sicken every law abiding deer hunter not just in Illinois, but throughout the continent.  This is the kind of incident that gives all hunters a bad name.

chris kiernan buck

Chris Kiernan took what could be Illinois largest non-typical ever in 2009. This deer, along with several more, have been confiscated by the state as part of a two year investigation on illegal hunting activities by Kiernan and two other hunters. The deer is said to be worth $35,000.

The following is reported from the Morris Daily Herald.

Kiernan is charged in the complaint with illegally hunting on Material Service property with bow and arrow, even though he did not have a deer archery permit.

Count 3 of the complaint charges Kiernan with unlawfully taking the 36-point deer in 2009. Count 4 cites him with unlawfully possessing the ear tags from a 36-point deer on April 19 of this year.

Another count charges Kiernan with illegally killing an 11-point whitetail deer at the same location on Nov. 8, 2009. Count 8 alleges Kiernan possessed a set of 11-point whitetail deer antlers on April 20 of this year.

Count 15 claims Kiernan illegally killed a 10-point whitetail deer on Material Service property on Nov. 7, 2009, and failed to tag the animal.

Count 20 charges Kiernan with illegally killing a 16-point whitetail deer at the same site on Nov. 13, 2009.In Count 22, Kiernan is charged with possessing the skull cap and antlers of an 11-point deer at 205 Osage Street on April 20 of this year.

Counts 23 through 27 charge Kiernan with illegal possession of an 11-point deer mount at his home on May 11, 2011, plus the mount of a 10-point deer and a 13-point deer, and the skull and antlers of an 8-point deer.

Counts 28 to 32 allege Kiernan illegally possessed the skull cap and antlers of a 12-point deer at 205 Osage St., on April 20, 2011, plus that of a 7-point and 11-point deer, along with the skull cap and mount of a 17-point deer.

Counts 33 and 34 charge Kiernan with illegally possessing the mount of two 10-point deer on Aug. 4 of this year.

Count 35 claims Kiernan illegally possessed the skull cap and antlers of a 9-point deer at 205 Osage St., on April 20, 2011.Lastly, counts 36 through 41 charge Kiernan with hunting on Material Service property on Southmor Road on Nov. 6, Nov. 7, Nov. 8, Nov. 9, and Nov. 12 of 2010, and on Nov. 7, 2009.

Also filed by Bates on Friday, Oct. 28, are two more illegal hunting lawsuits naming a Canadian and a New York state resident.

Larry Smith, 49, of Williamsburg, Ontario, is charged in a five-count criminal misdemeanor complaint with illegally hunting and illegally taking a 16-point whitetail deer on the Material Service property on Southmor Road on Nov. 13, 2009.

Garrett L. Armstrong, 31, of Avon, New York, is named in a 24-count criminal misdemeanor complaint with hunting and taking deer in the Material Service property, starting in November of 2009.

Stay tuned to the Hunting Network over the next several months as we bring continuous coverage of this case.


  1. Paul Blackburn says:

    Putting and arrow on a frame of a gun and then firing it using powerful gas cylinders in the name of archery is not archery. It is just using a gas cartridge to fir an arrow instead of a bullet. Let them use it where it is designed in gun season; along with all the other bullet propelled guns. No, it shouldn’t be allowed in archery season.

  2. Paul Blackburn says:

    How could Kiernan been able to check these deer in with out having a license. Something smells a little fishy to me. When it comes to having all those record book deer and no one checked his license? What were the Game and fish doing? Hunting in the woods don’t require a permit on all hunting lands, but some do. Evidently he is saying he was hunting close to the permit lands that didn’t require a permit , – along with licenses. My belief that once a bowhunter buys his license, the game and fish shouldn’t be charging a permit fee to hunters to hunt on land he helps pay for. Where does the game and fish get the money to buy the land for us to hunt on, – from us hunters. So that hunting land belongs to us. We shouldn’t be locked out and berms put up to keep us from getting to the game we are hunting. The Game and fish should not post gates on roads to keep us out during hunting season. If you ask me, – that is wrong.!

  3. Paul Blackburn says:

    I love to turkey and bow hunt. But we are gated and locked out of roads that go deep into the heart of the hunting woods. There is food plots that take a turkey hunter two days to get to , and back out. Why? Because we are locked out during turkey season. In Wedington, – there is no turkey season. In Wedington woods, close to where I live. There were four wheelers driving all through the woods. I would get into my stand and start hearing talking from afar. I would get down and go where I could hear the voices, and there would be four wheelers camped. Then the four wheelers would start racing and flying up and down the road. Below me was rubs and scrapes. I would set from dawn to dark. Never a sign of a buck or a doe. But you better believe there were plenty of four wheelers running through the woods and mud holes, and up and down the road. Making them impassable to get to other hunting areas.-; and to see a deer. I for one complained about the four wheel abuse of disturbing the very woods set aside for our bow hunting only. Low and behold, they outlawed the four wheelers there. I was so happy when they did that. Now, I could get closer back into the none-disturbed forest. I pull up in my Samurai. The gate is locked, I can’t drive in. I started walking caring my climbing stick and stand. It wasn’t long before I realized, man, this stuff is getting heaver that hell. I can’t get back to where all the deer sign is; it’s too far.For years, when all this four wheeling was going on, – there were no gates. Now, all over Wedington gates are being put up. Now, that the bow hunters are using it – they are gated and locked out. – What the Hell? We spend money for the right to hunt, and for a place to hunt. Also, to help the game and fish. Now, the very people the commission was designed to help is posting them out. They lock us out. That is bullshit of the funkiest order! We have the rights to be able to use our vehicles to get back into the woods. On good roads and old logging roads, and old wagon roads from days gone by. The game and fish doesn’t have any right to post us out. If they want to flex their game and fish muscles; Why didn’t they do it by flexing them, by being in charge of the mountain lions in California that are killing people. – Instead , they let the city take over their job, and do their job and pass laws to not allow hunting to eliminating these killers, and to force them back into the wilderness. The city say don’t harm them; although they have killed and maimed over thirteen people. Aren’t the Game and fish supposed to be in charge of the game and fish, and not the city? We need to be able to drive our cars, jeeps, trucks into these gated areas. It’s our woods, and we should not be locked out! Game and fish, open these gates during hunting season and let us in.


Speak Your Mind