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Indiana Man Charged with Poaching Record Buck

by North American Whitetail Online Staff   |  December 10th, 2012 12

Austin Spain, of Lynn, Ind., killed what a Boone & Crockett official said was the “deer of a lifetime.”

The only problem? Spain illegally poached the buck—his second this season in a state that only allows one per year.

According to Indiana state officials and a spokesman with B&C, the deer scored somewhere in the 180-inch range with 16 points, qualifying it for the national record books. But after Spain submitted a statement last week admitting that he had not shot it in Michigan per his original claim, he was charged with several misdemeanors relating to the incident, according to He also could face jail time if convicted.

Indiana conservation officer Jake Carlile said Spain killed his first buck in early November, and then shot the trophy buck the weekend of the Nov. 17. After an investigation into the incident, charges were brought against Spain and the deer was confiscated from a local taxidermy shop.

Keith Balfourd, a spokesman with B&C, said it’s rare for most hunters to ever see a deer of that caliber, and a shame that Spain stole the opportunity from someone else.

“I have hunted whitetail deer for 35 years and I haven’t shot one that was 160 inches. Less than one half of 1 percent of hunters ever take a Boone & Crockett-qualifying trophy.”

“There are lots of concerns when it comes to poaching. Essentially, deer, and wildlife in general, belong to the public. It’s a very unique model in North America. Wildlife doesn’t belong to the government, it doesn’t belong to corporations and it doesn’t belong to royalty. By taking more than his fair share, this hunter has taken from the citizens of that state,” Balfourd told

It seems greed got the better of Spain, who—as the old potato chip commercial once said—couldn’t have just one. In the end he made it into the books; just not the ones he was hoping for.

  • Wapiti

    Poaching is a big problem in all states. Hunters need to pay attention to what goes on in their are. If the fines and jail time were more severe maybe it would stop this senceless waste. This guy got what he deserves. Poachers rob from all legal sportsman.

  • deer killer

    Hmmm it also failed to mention that the meat was donated to the homeless and he shot the buck after his little cousin had shot and wounded the deer

  • tom

    That's why hunters sit in their stand all day long and don't see any deer, because someone poaching



  • Richard Bundy

    What a waste, people like this ruin it for us honest hunters who sit out there for days just for the chance at a deer like this. I hope they confiscated all his gear and fine he crap out of him.

  • Antlerman

    You can kill 2 bucks in Indiana!

    • Kyle

      You can only kill one bub. Unless you are in a draw hunt or in Urban Zones



    • Pete Rickerts

      Or State Park hunts/Urban Zone

  • The Club House

    He shot 2 bucks in the 2011 also! Just ask the taxidermist where his bucks were confiscated from this year.

  • Rich

    Poachers are the lowest form …. Lazy, unethical, greedy instant gratification minded punks! I'm sure it happens much more we only hear about it when a big buck is poached.. Poacher is the same as a thief to me!

  • backstrap assassin

    everyone of you wouldve done the same thing …..he made a mistake and should pay, yes i agree but like i said, none of you are perfect and have done things wrong in your life….and as for the club house posting such non sense, i am a personal friend of both mr. spain and Mr. ryan combs….. Ryan has admitted to me and a few other people of tagging deer for his dad( owner of the clubhouse) so before you post stuff on the internet , make sure your closet is clean

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