Kiernan indicted in case of Illinois monster buck
Morris, Ill. — Chris Kiernan’s buck had the state’s deer hunting community buzzing. The non-typical 36-pointer arrowed in November 2009 made the Morris hunter an instant celebrity and experts valued the deer’s mount at about $35,000.
As it turned out, the buck was poached.
And instead of a celebrity, Kiernan is now accused of being a criminal.
Kiernan, 46, of Minooka was indicted on eight counts by a Grundy County Circuit Court grand jury earlier this month. According to court records, the charges stem from illegal hunting of a protected species between November 2009 and May 2011 while on the property of Material Service Corporation in Morris.
While allegedly bowhunting on that company’s property three years ago, Kiernan stuck what turned out to be the largest non-typical archery kill in state history and the third-largest non-typical buck of all-time in Illinois.
The deer had 27 unofficial points on one side and 17 on the other and ended up being an official 37-pointer that netted 2681⁄8 inches.
“I’d been keeping tabs on him for a couple of years,” Kiernan told Illinois Outdoor News immediately following the hunt. “But I went into the season not really expecting that 2009 would be the year, especially that early in the year.”
Two years later, Kiernan was one of three men named as subjects of an 11-month deer poaching investigation.
More than 40 charges were initially filed against him, related to allegations that he unlawfully took a total of 24 deer in Illinois and Canada over a 10-year period.
The Kendall County 36-pointer was among those deer he allegedly took illegally.
Counts against him in the recent Grundy County court record include:
- Two counts of killing for profit or commercial purposes a protected species, a Class 3 felony, for unlawfully killing a 36-point white-tailed deer and an 11-point white-tailed deer.
- Three counts of possessing for profit or commercial purposes a protected species, a Class 3 felony, for unlawfully possessing a 36-point white-tailed deer, an 11-point white-tailed deer, and a 13-point white-tailed deer.
- Three counts of carrying for profit or commercial purposes a protected species, a Class 3 felony, for unlawfully possessing a 16-point white-tailed deer, 10-point white-tailed deer, and 11-point white-tailed deer.
DNR was part of the original investigation, along with several wildlife agencies. They focused on the unlawful harvest of Kiernan’s trophy. Original charges filed last year also included that Kiernan “illegally possessed the skullcaps and antlers of several deer and had them mounted.”