Minnesota brothers plead guilty to Worthington-area deer hunting charges
St. Paul — Two brothers charged with illegal hunting violations in late 2013 recently pleaded guilty in a plea bargain agreement in Nobles County District Court, reports the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
On Nov. 18, Steven E. Joens, 53, of Wilmont, and Eric A. Joens, 45, of Reading, pleaded guilty to discharging a firearm at a big game animal from a public highway. Each man was fined $1,000 and had their hunting privileges revoked for three years. Charges dismissed in the plea bargain included unlawful transportation of wild animals, illegally transporting a loaded a firearm in a motor vehicle and taking a wild animal with a firearm from a motor vehicle.
DNR Conservation Officer Lt. Gary Nordseth received a tip on Nov. 10, 2013, of a deer being chased by a motor vehicle along a county highway near Worthington. Eric Joens shot and killed an 8-point buck from a moving pickup being driven by his brother Steven Joens. After the shot, the two men stopped, loaded the illegally taken deer, and left the scene. With the investigation that followed, the deer was located and seized.
In addition to the fines and revocation of hunting privileges, the Joens’ must also pay $500 restitution for the deer and forfeit the shotgun used in the 2013 incident.
Nordseth encourages anyone who witnesses a fish or wildlife violation to contact the 24-hour, Turn In Poachers (TIP) hotline at 800-652-9093. Cell phone users can dial #TIP.