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State

Hunters plead guilty in poaching cases

SPRINGFIELD – Seven men involved in various 2011 deer poaching cases in Illinois have pleaded guilty.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources announced the guilty pleas Friday.

The department’s conservation police charged the seven Illinois and Michigan hunters with several offenses. They include hunting without a license, hunting without permission of a landowner and possession of illegally taken deer.

Five of the men face charges in Cook County. Their cases involve illegally taking 31 deer, including a buck valued at $25,000. They have also been convicted on similar charges in Michigan.

The other two men face charges in Kankakee County for illegally taking a large buck.

Police Director Rafael Gutierrez says these cases show his agency is serious about protecting outdoor recreation opportunities.

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